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For Immediate Release
January 31, 2005
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES CASES

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission is making public three cases resolved in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. This brings to 152 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 It should be noted that cases resolved through ADR are not precedential.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 162  
     
  RESPONDENTS: Carol Moseley Braun for President, Moti Agarwal, treasurer
  SOURCE: MUR 5412: Vasyl Markus
  SUBJECT: Failure to disclose outstanding debt
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Respondents contend there is a bona fide disagreement whether there is a debt owed to complainant particularly given the lack of evidence to support the aforementioned claim. Nevertheless, there is precedent regarding Respondents’ obligation to report a claim that is in dispute. Respondents agree that if the complainant provides sufficient evidence to support his claim, they are prepared to amend the reports filed with the Commission listing the claim as a bona fide debt. In the interim, Respondents agree to comply with the regulations and file an amended 2003 Year End Report with the Commission listing the amount in dispute. Respondents agree to note the amount of disputed debts on the next appropriate monthly report, and will continue to list the disputed debt on subsequent reports until the debt is resolved or the Committee is terminated.

     
2. ADR 182  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

(a) U. S. Cuba Democracy PAC, Gus Machado, treasurer

(b) Martinez for Senate, Charles W. Pluckett, treasurer
  SOURCE: MUR 5448: Melanie Sloan, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
  SUBJECT: Failure to accurately report disbursement/excessive contribution
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

(a) Respondents contend that the violation resulted     from an inadvertent reporting error due to listing the luncheon expenditure as an incurred debt and independent expenditure rather than an operating expense. After, being advised of the error, Respondents filed an amended report correctly identifying the debt as an operating expense. Respondents acknowledge their    unintended error in the subject report filed with the Commission. In order to resolve this matter and ensure consistent and accurate compliance with current regulations and any future changes in the same, Respondents agree to select and send two representatives from the committee to attend an FEC seminar on Federal election campaign reporting requirements within 14 months of the effective date of this agreement.

(b) The ADR Office recommends the matter to be   dismissed and the Commission agrees to close             the file.
     
3. ADR 219  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Kerry for President, Inc., Robert Farmer, treasurer

  SOURCE: MUR 5478: Maureen C. Haller
  SUBJECT: Failure to accurately report a contribution
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

The ADR Office recommends the case be closed and the Commission agrees to close the file.

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