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For Immediate Release
November 3, 2005
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
ADR PROGRAM RESOLVES CASES

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission is making public five cases resolved in the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program. This brings to 209 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 It should be noted that cases resolved through ADR are not precedential.

1/2.

ADRs 223 & 256

 
     
  RESPONDENTS:

National Italian American PAC, Anthony N. Mallace, treasurer

  SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD) [ADR 223/AF 1325/AF 1386]

FEC Initiated (Audit) [ADR 256]

FEC Initiated (OAR) [AF 1130]
  SUBJECT:

Failure to accurately report expenditures; excessive contributions; failure to file disclosure reports

  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$10,000 civil penalty Respondents acknowledge that inadvertent violations of the FECA occurred due to the inexperience of a volunteer staff. The Committee , on learning of the reporting violations and prohibited contributions/loans, initiated actions to correct the errors and pay the loans and refund the excessive contributions. Respondents, in an effort to avoid similar errors in the future agree to employ an election law compliance officer within 30 days of the effective date of this agreement; send the Treasurer and compliance officer to a FEC seminar appropriate for PACs within 12 months of the effective date of this agreement; work with a RAD analyst to ensure that all required reports are filed within 90 days of the effective date of this agreement and pay a civil penalty. The Commission and Respondents determined that an appropriate civil penalty to resolve these matters was $35,000. However, due to the terms and conditions Respondents consent to , the Commission agrees to depart substantially from the civil penalty that the Commission has determined is justified to resolve these matters. Respondents will pay $10,000 of the civil penalty within 60 days of the effective date of this agreement. In the event that the terms of this agreement are violated, or the Respondents fail to comply with the requirements of the FECA during the 24 months following the effective date of this agreement, the unpaid balance of the civil penalty of $35,000 shall be due immediately to the Commission.

  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD: Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 223 and 256 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 237  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Rick for Congress (FL/05), Doreen Penberthy, treasurer

  SOURCE:

MUR 5521: Steven G. Hemmert

  SUBJECT: Failure to file disclosure report timely/failure to electronically file disclosure report
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$1,500 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledged that they misunderstood the Commission’s reporting requirements and believed they were in compliance with FECA regulations when they filed their report. In order to avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agree to send a representative to a FEC seminar on Federal Eelction Campaign finance reporting requirements.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD: Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 237 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.
     
4. ADR 246  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Independent Action, Inc., Ralph Santora, treasurer

  SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

  SUBJECT: Failure to file disclosure reports
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$12,000 civil penalty

Respondents acknowledged failing to file financial reports, explaining that staff turnover and unfamiliarity with the Commission’s reporting requirements led to delays in submitting the required reports. Respondents agree to send a representative to a FEC seminar on campaign reporting requirements within 15 months of the effective date of this agreement and prepare and maintain guidelines to assist their staff in complying with FEC reporting requirements.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD: Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 246 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.
     
5. ADR 276  
     
  RESPONDENTS:

Community Action Program PAC, Cathy Hoskins, treasurer

  SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (RAD)

  SUBJECT: Failure to disclose receipts timely
  NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$4,500 civil penalty

Respondents explained that the inadvertent omission of additional receipts was mistakenly excluded from the Committee’s original report. In an effort to avoid similar errors in the future, Respondents agreed to contract with an accounting firm familiar with FECA reporting requirements to oversee and regularly review the Committee’s reports prior to filing the reports with Commission; establish and maintain a file of FEC regulations and Commission materials to guide the their staff in complying with the Act’s reporting requirements and send the Director of Administration to a FEC seminar on reporting requirements.
  DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD: Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 276 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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