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For Immediate Release
January 6, 2005
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES CASES

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission is making public four cases resolved in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. This brings to 149 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 It should be noted that cases resolved through ADR are not precedential.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 177  
     
  RESPONDENTS: David Brigham for Congress (TX-16); Martin Olivarez, treasurer
  SOURCE: MUR 5425: Carlos R. Ortiz
  SUBJECT: Failure to report disbursements; failure to file 48-hour report
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$1,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledged that inadvertent violations of the FECA occurred at the beginning of the campaign. The violations occurred due to a misunderstanding of the reporting requirements for disbursements under the FECA. In an effort to avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agree to appoint an FECA compliance person; amend all reports to accurately reflect the disbursements made by the candidate between December 12, 2003 and February 18, 2004 and circulate a memorandum to all committee staff and volunteers about receipts and the information the Treasurer requires for disclosure purposes.

     
2. ADR 184  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

M. Sue Wilson

  SOURCE: MUR 5452: Duane Hassig
  SUBJECT: Excessive donations
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Respondent acknowledges that an inadvertent violation of the FECA occurred. Respondent contends that when the committee continues to solicit contributions, she assumed that she could still legally contribute. Respondent accepts an admonishment from the Commission. In an effort to avoid similar errors in the future, the Respondent agrees to educate herself about the FECA and maintain a list of all contributions made to candidates or to finance federal elections.

     
3. ADR 208  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Philip L. Capitano

  SOURCE: MUR 5531: Nick Congemi
  SUBJECT: Failure to report independent expenditures; disclaimer
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

The ADR Office recommends the Commission take no further action and the Commission agrees with the recommendation and closes the file.

     
4. ADR 211  
     
  RESPONDENTS: Wisconsin Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) District 11, Calvin F. Wells, Commander
  SOURCE: MUR 5473: Henry Zumach
  SUBJECT: Prohibited contribution
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT: The ADR Office recommends the case be closed and the Commission agrees to close the file.

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