Water regulator failed to disclose husband's ties to wastewater dischargers

The leader of California's largest water pollution regulator is married to a lobbyist for agencies it regulates, a potential conflict of interest she did not disclose publicly until an ethics complaint was brought against her.

The state's Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating the complaint against Katherine Hart, who chairs the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board. It alleges she failed to disclose her husband's ties to wastewater dischargers, and failed to recuse herself properly from board actions affecting his clients.

Hart, an attorney, was appointed to the board by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. The board oversees pollution policy and permits in the state's biggest watershed, which includes the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Hart was reappointed in 2008, and this January was named chairwoman.

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