Friday, May 17, 2019 5:30 pm
15 candidates fined for not filing reports
DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette
Fifteen candidates who ran in the May 7 primary election were issued fines today after failing to submit all or part of their campaign finance reports.
In particular, seven candidates were identified as having failed to turn in supplemental reports that are required when a candidate receives $1,000 or more between April 13 and May 5. That report is due within 48 hours of receiving the donation. Candidates that missed the deadline for these reports are: City Clerk Lana Keesling, MaryClare Akers, Michelle Chambers, Rachel Lott and Councilmen Tom Didier and Glynn Hines.
A report from Didier, who was fined $900, was due on April 18 but was not turned in until May 6. Didier's May 6 report shows two $1,000 donations made on April 16 and 22.
In an interview Friday, Didier said he wasn't aware of the rule, but admitted that he made a mistake and has learned a valuable lesson from the experience.
"Hopefully other candidates will learn something from the lesson I had to pay," Didier said. "Make sure you dot the i's and cross the t's so you don't make the same mistake."
Councilman Michael Barranda was originally assessed for a $450 fine, but it was cleared during Friday's hearing based on testimony he provided regarding when the contributions were received, Director of Elections Beth Dlug said.
Keesling, Lott and Chambers were each fined $50 and Akers was fined $75. All signed an agreement and paid the fine prior to Friday's meeting, Dlug said.
Hines was fined $400 for being late in reporting a $2,000 contribution received on April 12.
Eight others – Councilman Paul Ensley, Perry Township Trustee Eric Tippmann, Gina Burgess, David Roach, Tommy Schrader, Jonathon Yoder, David Cheviron, Joseph Kelsey and Hakim Muhammad – also received fines ranging from $25 to $50.
Candidates Tom Cook and Jonathon Yoder were also initially assessed for fines, but had them cleared. Cook's fine was waived for medical hardship. Yoder's fine was cleared after presenting evidence that his report was filed on time.
Any fines assessed will come out of the candidates' campaign funds, where possible.