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Attorney General Lockyer Issues Statement on Decision to Return Oracle Contributions

Wednesday, May 8, 2002
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today issued the following statement regarding his decision to return campaign contributions from Oracle Corporation:

"As I have previously indicated, two weeks ago, in my capacity as the state's chief law officer, I launched investigations into circumstances surrounding the state's Enterprise License Agreement with Oracle Corporation to determine if there have been any violations of civil or criminal law. While it would be inappropriate and unfair to discuss the particulars of our investigation, our efforts are ongoing, aggressive and comprehensive.

In an effort to insert political considerations into a non-partisan law enforcement endeavor, some elected officials have speculated that my office will not be able to conduct a thorough and fair investigation due to the fact that the governor and I are from the same political party and because I have received campaign contributions from Oracle.

While their speculations are baseless, because the investigation involves allegations of wrongdoing at the highest levels of state government and because politicians with a partisan agenda threaten to distract the attention of the public and policymakers from the investigation, today I returned the $50,000 Oracle has contributed to my campaign during my term as Attorney General.

These contributions neither create a conflict of interest for me or my office, nor do they constitute any violation of law. Further, the contributions I received from Oracle came long before I or anyone in my office learned of any controversy involving the ELA or any other issue involving it and state government.

I have decided to return the contributions because it is clear to me that given the unique aspects of this investigation it is more important to the good reputation of the Office of the Attorney General to assure the public that our investigation of the Oracle contract is fair, non-partisan, and non-political than to retain campaign contributions simply because they were legally made.

Full, fair, non-partisan and non-political investigations have always been the standard for this office. Returning the campaign contributions from Oracle will help ensure that partisans don't undermine public confidence in the integrity of the ELA investigation by the California Attorney General's Office."

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