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For Immediate Release
June 14, 2006
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES CASES

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has resolved five enforcement matters through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.  The cases involved reporting omissions by two campaign committees, Patlak for Congress and Boyd for Congress, and one state party organization, the New Hampshire Democratic State Committee, as well as receipt of excessive contributions by two campaigns, Jim Gerlach for Congress Committee and the Committee to Elect Patsy Keever.

“Implementation of the ADR program is just one way that the FEC has improved and enhanced its enforcement of campaign finance violations,” said Michael Toner, Chairman of the Commission.  This brings to 254 the total number of cases resolved through the ADR program since it began on October 2, 2000. The ADR program expedites resolution of enforcement matters and reduces the cost of processing complaints.

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 being resolved, and participate in mediation if necessary.

The ADR process is designed to reach an expedient resolution with a mutually agreeable settlement that is in compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.  Resolutions reached through direct and, when necessary, mediated negotiations are submitted to the Commissioners for final approval.  Closed ADR negotiated settlement summaries are available in the FEC’s Press and Public Records office.

1.

ADR 243

RESPONDENTS:

Patlak for Congress, Jame S. Carven, treasurer

SOURCE:

MUR 5516: Eric Buermann

SUBJECT:

Failure to file disclosure report timely; failure to accurately report receipts and disbursements

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Reject the settlement agreement and close the file.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 243 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

2.

ADR 300

RESPONDENTS:

New Hampshire Democratic State Committee, Martha Fuller Clark, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to accurately disclose disbursements

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$1,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledge an inadvertent violation of FECA due to inexperienced staff. Respondents contend that the additional disbursements resulted from only two transactions, one of which was a wire transfer. Respondents, in an effort to avoid similar errors in the future, agree to work with FEC staff to amend all reports required following an internal desk audit.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 300 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

3.

ADR 301

RESPONDENTS:

Boyd for Congress, Stephanie Boyd, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to accurately disclose disbursements

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$7,500 civil penalty

Respondents contend that they discovered the subject discrepancies as the result of an internal audit of the Committee’s accounts. Respondents further contend that as a result, they instituted a number of internal changes to the Committee’s financial accounting procedures including hiring an accounting firm to review the Committee’s filings prior to forwarding to the FEC and to set-up a system of internal reviews to prevent repetition of reporting errors. In order, to resolve this matter and avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agree to send the Committee’s treasurer and another staff member to either the FEC’s current one day briefing on FECA or a two-day seminar to be conducted in FY 2007 and to conduct internal training for the Committee staff on the FEC’s reporting requirements.

 

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 301 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

4.

ADR 306

RESPONDENTS:

Jim Gerlach for Congress Committee, Michael DeHaven, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (Audit)

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Respondents acknowledge a violation of FECA due to inexperienced staff. Respondents contend that the Committee, following the recommendation of the Audit staff, refunded all excessive contributions. In addition, the Committee hired experienced staff, and took numerous steps to provide consistent review, and reconciliation, of contributions and disbursements to prevent this reoccurring. Respondents, in an effort to avoid similar errors in the future, agree to appoint a compliance officer; develop a compliance desk manual for use by the staff and ensure that copies of all negotiated refund checks have been provided to the Commission.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 306 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

5.

ADR 309

RESPONDENTS:

Committee to Elect Patsy Keever, Francis Ellis, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (Audit)

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Respondents contend that the Committee was unaware of the procedures for handling excessive contributions or of the Committee’s responsibility to notify contributors to reattribute, redesignate or refund excessive contributions. Respondents explained that by the time they were advised of Audit’s review, the Candidate had already donated much of the excess campaign funds. However, in order to comply with Audit’s recommendations, the Committee refunded to contributors $14,140 from the campaign account. In order to conclude this matter, Respondents agrees to provide copies of checks for the $14,140 refunded to contributors and bank statements confirming that the checks have been processed; provide copies of check for approximately $4,760 made payable to the remaining contributors from the Candidate’s personal account and of bank statements confirming the processing of the aforementioned checks and file for termination.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 309 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FECs Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

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