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For Immediate Release
September 24, 2004
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES CASE

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission is making public nine cases resolved in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. This brings to 127 the total number of cases released since the ADR program began October 2, 2000. The program's goal is to expedite resolution of some enforcement matters, reduce the cost of processing complaints, and enhance overall FEC enforcement. Closed ADR negotiated settlement summaries are available in the FEC's Press and Public Records offices.

For a case to be considered for ADR treatment, a respondent must express willingness to engage in the ADR process, agree to set aside the statute of limitations while the case is pending in the ADR Office, and agree to participate in bilateral negotiations and, if necessary, mediation.

Bilateral negotiations through ADR are oriented toward reaching an expedient resolution with a mutually agreeable settlement that is both satisfying to the respondent(s) and in compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). Resolutions reached through direct and, when necessary, mediated negotiations are submitted to the Commissioners for final approval. If a resolution is not reached in bilateral negotiation, the case proceeds by mutual agreement to mediation. It should be noted that cases resolved through ADR are not precedential.

1. ADR 148  
     
  RESPONDENTS: Superior Savings Bank of New England , N. A.
  SOURCE: Pre-MUR 414 : Referral by Daniel P. Stipano, Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency
  SUBJECT: National bank contributions
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$1,000 civil penalty Respondent acknowledged the contributions, however, contends that the error was due to the mistaken belief that the Bank was governed by New York State regulations rather than FECA. In order to resolve this matter and avoid similar errors in the future, Respondent agrees to adopt and distribute within 30 days of the effective date of this agreement a corporate policy advising Bank officers and directors that it is illegal for any national bank to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any election to any political office or for any officer or director of a national bank to consent to any contribution or expenditure by the national bank to election campaigns and to appoint an appropriate Bank officer to attend a FEC sponsored seminar, within 12 months of the effective date of this agreement.

     
2. ADR 156  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Conservative Leadership PAC, David Fenner, treasurer

  SOURCE: FEC Initiated (RAD)
  SUBJECT: Failure to provide contributor information; failure to adequately report purpose of disbursements; failure to amend Statement of Organization timely
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$2,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledge that violations of the FECA occurred due to difficulties with the vendor that they contracted with for reporting software and compliance. Respondents were unable to file amended reports because the required information regarding “best efforts” and other matters were lost or destroyed. In an effort to avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agree to designate a member of the committee staff to attend a FEC seminar within 12 months of the effective date of this agreement; work with FEC/RAD staff to determine how to adequately supplement the reports and file an amended Statement of Organization with a current mailing address.

     
3. ADR 160  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Sonoma National Bank

  SOURCE: Pre-MUR 418 : Referral by Daniel P. Stipano, Deputy Chief Counsel, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
  SUBJECT: National bank contribution
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$500 civil penalty

Respondent acknowledged the purchase of tickets to an award dinner, however, contends it was unaware that the prohibition on national banks contributing to election campaigns would be applied to the purchase of tickets to an award dinner. In order to resolve this matter and avoid similar issues in the future, the respondent agrees to adopt and distribute within 30 days of the effective date of this agreement a corporate policy advising Bank officers and directors that it is illegal for any national bank to make a contribution or expenditure in connection with any election to any political office or any officer or director of a national bank to consent to any contribution or expenditure by the national bank to election campaigns and to incorporate the aforementioned policy statement into the Bank's on going Standards of Conduct Policy.
     
4. ADR 166  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Citizens for Anderson, Marilyn Anderson, treasurer

  SOURCE: MUR 5407 : Mark W. Wortham
  SUBJECT: Failure to file Statement of Organization timely; filing an incomplete Statement of Organization
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Respondents acknowledged filing an incomplete Statement of Organization. Respondents stated they were unaware of the incompleteness of their reports until the complaint was forwarded to them. Respondent subsequently corrected and filed on January 30, 2004 an amended report. Respondents acknowledged their violations of the FECA and agree to work with the Reports Analysis Division (RAD) to ensure that all reports filed with the Commission are accurate and complete; file for termination and accept an admonishment for the numerous errors contained in the Statement of Organization filed with the Commission.

     
5. ADR 170  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Risley for Congress, Jan Risley, treasurer

  SOURCE: MUR 5436: Martha Norton
  SUBJECT: Failure to file disclosure report; disclaimers; failure to report receipts and disbursements; failure to file 48-hour report
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$200 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledged the violation of the FECA when they failed to file the Pre-Primary report and 48-hour report on time. In order to resolve this matter and avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agree to work with the Reports Analysis Division to ensure the Committee's reports are correct and in compliance with the regulations.
     
6. ADR 175  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Democratic Party of Arkansas, Marcus Vaden, treasurer

  SOURCE: FEC Initiated (Audit)
  SUBJECT: Use of prohibited funds
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$1,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledge that a violation of the FECA occurred. Respondents demonstrated that all but thirty-four (34) of the assessments paid by individuals seeking non-federal offices who paid filing fees from their personal accounts and deposited in Respondents' federal account, were not reimbursed by their committees with prohibited monies. The total of those 34 filing fees, $34,019, was transferred to Respondents' non-federal account and amended reports were filed with the Commission. Respondents, in an effort to avoid similar errors in the future agree to attend an FEC Seminar within 12 months and develop and use a ballot access form to ensure that the ballot access fees are accurately identified.
     
7. ADR 180  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Ciro D. Rodriguez for Congress, Juan J. Amaro,   treasurer

(b)   Ciro D. Rodriguez
  SOURCE: MUR 5417: Colin Strother
  SUBJECT: Disclaimer
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

The ADR Office recommends the case be closed and the Commission agrees to close the file.

     
8. ADR 181  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas (“ RLC TX ”),   Don Zimmerman, treasurer

(b)   Wes Riddle for Congress Campaign, J. Anthony   Van Slyke, treasurer

(c)   Republican Liberty Caucus PAC, Alan H.   Cousin, treasurer
  SOURCE: MUR 5423: Anthony W. Dale
  SUBJECT: Disclaimer
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: The ADR Office recommends the case be closed and the Commission agrees to close the file.
     
9. ADR 183  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Missouri Republican State Committee (“MSRC”), Harvey Tettlebaum, treasurer

  SOURCE: MUR 5450: Richard A. Kline
  SUBJECT: Website content/not within FEC jurisdiction
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: The ADR Office recommends the case be closed and the Commission agrees to close the file.
     

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