Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles specializing in campaign finance and ethics, said candidates for public safety offices such as district attorney or sheriff are generally careful about who they accept donations from.
“Legally, you’re welcome to take money from people who are under investigation and connected to those under investigation,” she said. “The second question is political: What is the smart move?”
The biggest drawback may be providing fodder for a political opponent and drawing scrutiny, said Levinson, who also serves as vice president of the city of Los Angeles’ ethics commission.
“I think a candidate who is flush with money does not accept those contributions,” she said.