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For Immediate Release
November 15, 2005
Contact: Kelly Huff
Bob Biersack
Ian Stirton
George Smaragdis
COMPLIANCE CASE MADE PUBLIC
 

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission has recently made public its final action on three matters previously under review (MURs). This release contains only disposition information.

1.

MUR 5375

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Laidlaw International, Inc. (FKA Laidlaw Inc.)

(b)   Laidlaw Transit, Inc.

(c)   American Medical Response, Inc. (AMR)

(d)   Martha A. Gibbons

 

COMPLAINANT:

Gordon Bergelson

SUBJECT:

Corporate contributions; contributions in the name of another

DISPOSITION:

(a-c)     Reason to believe, took no further action*

            [re: knowing and willful corporate contributions and                          contributions in the name of another]

(d)       No reason to believe*

            [re: contributions in the name of another]

            MUR 5375 involved allegations that American Medical Response, Inc. (AMR), a subsidiary of Laidlaw, used bonus payments to reimburse employees for political contributions. The complaint cited an attached news article recounting Laidlaw’s decision to conceal an audit report concerning allegations that an AMR executive used corporate funds to reimburse employees for federal campaign donations made between 1995 and 2001. Laidlaw, on behalf of itself and its subsidiaries, filed a response but did not address the substantive allegations of the complaint. Laidlaw claimed that its Chapter 11 reorganization limited any Commission investigation relating to actions committee prior to bankruptcy. Ms. Gibbons provided a statement that she denied any knowledge of or participation in a reimbursement scheme. The Commission found reason to believe that the Laidlaw respondents knowing and willfully violated the law. While the Commission based its reason to believe findings primarily on the information in the news article attached to the complaint, it also considered information from disclosure reports suggesting similarities in the number, amount and timing of contributions by AMR employees to the American Ambulance Association PAC as well as the failure of Laidlaw and its subsidiaries to refute the substantive allegations in the complaint. The Commission decided to take no further action against the Laidlaw respondents because evidence uncovered during the investigation did not establish that AMR  reimbursd employee contributions through its bonus program. The Commission found no reason to believe that Martha Gibbons violated the Act.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5375 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

2.

MUR 5480

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Liane Levetan for Congress (GA/04), Dorothy E.   Williams, treasurer

(b)   Liane Levetan for Senate, Dorothy E. Williams, treasurer

(c)    Senator Liane Levetan

 

COMPLAINANT:

Catheran M. Woolard and Friends of Cathy Woolard

SUBJECT:

Excessive contributions; failure to report contribution; failure to accurately report purpose of disbursement; failure to accurately report debts and obligations

DISPOSITION:

(a-c)     Conciliation Agreement: $9,600 civil penalty*

            The complaint alleged that Liane Levetan, through Levetan for Senate (state committee), commissioned and paid for a consultant to conduct a poll tailored to directly benefit the Levetan for Congress Committee (federal committee). The complaint further stated that the federal committee failed to disclose payments for two expenditures on their report; that the poll expense constituted an excessive contribution; and that the payment for the poll by the State Committee violated the prohibition against the transfer of assets from a candidate’s nonfederal campaign account to a federal campaign account.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5480 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

     

3.

MUR 5557

RESPONDENTS:

(a)   Pipkin for U.S. Senate, Inc. (MD), Sharon Carrick,   treasurer

(b)   Edward J. Pipkin

 

COMPLAINANT:

Michael E. Morrill

SUBJECT:

Failure to file Notice of Expenditure from Candidate’s Personal Funds

DISPOSITION:

(a-b)    No reason to believe*

           The complaint alleged that the Pipkin for Senate Committee failed to send a copy of the initial 24-Hour Notice of Expenditure from Candidate’s Personal Funds to Senator Barbara Mikulski’s campaign committee. The Pipkin Committee disputed the allegations and submitted proof that it sent, and the Mikulski committee received, within the timeframe set forth in the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA). The Commission found no reason to believe the Respondents violated the law.

                       

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 5557 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. NW in Washington.

 

*There are four administrative stages to the FEC enforcement process:

1. Receipt of proper complaint 3. "Probable cause" stage
2. "Reason to believe" stage 4. Conciliation stage

It requires the votes of at least four of the six Commissioners to take any action. The FEC can close a case at any point after reviewing a complaint. If a violation is found and conciliation cannot be reached, then the FEC can institute a civil court action against a respondent.

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