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For Immediate Release
October 29, 2003
Contact: George Smaragdis
Ron Harris
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES CASES
WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission is making public three additional cases resolved in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. This brings to 93 the total number of cases released thus far. The programís 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 FECís 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 It should be noted that cases resolved through ADR are not precedential.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 110  
     
  RESPONDENTS: Citizens to Elect Yvonne Christian-Williams, Stanley P. King, treasurer
  SOURCE: MUR 5259: Karen Huey White
  SUBJECT: Failure to include disclaimers; Failure to disclose expenditures
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: $1,000 civil penalty Ė terminate committee

Respondents acknowledge that an inadvertent violation of the Act occurred due to the omission of a required disclaimer. Respondents contend that the omission was due to an oversight by the vendor, which the Respondents did not notice. Respondents also state that the expenditures were disclosed in the appropriate quarterly report.

     
2. ADR 127  
     
  RESPONDENTS: Democratic State Central Committee of Maryland, Gary Gensler, treasurer
  SOURCE: Commission Audit
  SUBJECT: Excessive contributions
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: Respondents contend that the FEC's regulations do not expressly address the situation where contributions received by a state party are allocated between federal and non-federal accounts or when excessive contributions are transferred to a non-federal account. Respondents contend they made a good faith effort to correct the problems as soon as they were discovered, which, they further contend, was before the Commission's audit commenced. In order to avoid a similar situation in the future, the Respondents agree to have a staff person attend an FEC sponsored training seminar and transfer the excessive portion of any contribution within 60 days of receipt, notify the contributor that the transfer is being made and offer the donor the option of a refund.
     
3. ADR 141  
     
  RESPONDENTS: (a) Rush Holt for Congress, Inc., Pamela Mount, treasurer

(b) Rush Holt

(c) Paul Starr

(d) Christine Stansell

(e) Sean Wilentz

(f) Alan Blinder

  SOURCE: MUR 5331
  SUBJECT: Failure to include disclaimer; impermissible contribution
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: The ADR Office recommends the case be closed and the Commission agrees to close the file.

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