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For Immediate Release
July 27, 2006
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES THREE CASES

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has successfully resolved three enforcement matters through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.  In ADR 325, the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party and its treasurer paid a $1,000 penalty for failing to report receipts. In ADR 299, the Harris County Republican Party and its treasurer acknowledged a reporting violation and will amend their reports; and in ADR 310 the Commission chose to take no action against  Max Gelwix for exceeding the annual contribution limit because of the de minimis amount  of the violation ($500).

”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 257 the total number of cases resolved through the ADR program since it began on October 2, 2000. The ADR program has proved very effective in expediting resolution of certain types of violations and reduced the agrncy’s cost in processing complaints.

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.  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.  Resolutions 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 310

     

RESPONDENTS:

Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party, Kerry Gautier, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to report receipts

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$1,000 civil penalty

$1,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledged an inadvertent omission occurred when the original report was filed prior to the reconciliation of bank records. Respondents agreed to revise their procedures to ensure that bank reconciliation is done prior to filing reports with the Commission and to send a representative to training on campaign finance reporting within 12 month of the effective date of the agreement.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 325 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 299

RESPONDENTS:

Harris County Republican Party, Larry Hicks, treasurer

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

SUBJECT:

Failure to report any allocable administrative expenses; failure to properly allocate administrative expenses

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Respondents acknowledge an inadvertent violation due to inexperienced staff; historically they were only involved in county and state election activities and had no experience with the allocation of  federal disbursements. Respondents agreed to work with a RAD analyst to ensure that all reports are amended to accurately reflect the allocation of financial activity and appoint a compliance specialist.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 299 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 325

RESPONDENTS:

Max Gelwix

SOURCE:

MUR 5705: TheRestofUs.org

SUBJECT:

Exceeding $25,000 annual contribution limit (2002)

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

The ADR Office recommends the matter be dismissed because of the de minimis amount of the violation ($500); the Commission agreed and closed 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 XXX 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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