Legal But Shady: Todd Spitzer Sent $189,000 Worth of Taxpayer-Funded Mailers During his Campaign for DA.

Ethics experts and political critics are calling out Orange County Supervisor and District Attorney-Elect Todd Spitzer for sending $189,000 worth of mailers from his office during his race for district attorney this year.

The mailers appear to have been legal, but they’re still problematic government ethics expert Bob Stern told the Orange County Register.

“He’s sort of thumbing his nose at the law and saying, ‘I’m going to play games with this,’ ” Stern told the publication. “What he’s doing is legal but it’s not ethical.”

Even the county’s political watchdog Shirley Grindle, a Spitzer supporter, agreed.

Orange County has a history of politicians using taxpayer-funded mailers that benefit their campaigns. In fact, a 2017 state law aimed at curbing the practice was prompted by Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do’s use of $277,000 in public funds for fliers he sent leading up to the election in 2016.

Spitzer still appears to be in compliance with the new law because he stopped his mailers right before the 60-day run-up to the election — the time specific by the legislation. That has led Stern to call for further restrictions, such a full year ban on taxpayer-funded mailers that could benefit a political campaign.