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For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Bob Biersack

March 14, 2008

George Smaragdis

Michelle Ryan

 

ADR Program Resolves Six Cases, Civil Penalties Total $11,450

WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission (FEC/Commission) made public six campaign finance enforcement matters today that were resolved successfully through its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) program.  The Commission assessed civil penalties in three cases totaling $11,450.

The Commission completed action on these matters in 2007, and documents from these cases have now been placed on the public record.  Detailed information on all FEC enforcement actions is available through the enforcement query system at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqs/searcheqs

In ADR 413, Van Taylor for Congress, the principal campaign committee of 2006 Congressional candidate Nicholas Van Campen Taylor (TX/17), agreed to pay a $5,300 civil penalty for failing to disclose all financial activity on its 2006 12 Day Pre-General Election and 30 Day Post-General Election reports.

In ADR 409, the Blue America Political Action Committee (PAC) agreed to pay a $900 civil penalty for failing to file six 24 Hour Notices for independent expenditures made before the 2006 General Election.

In ADR 255, 14 respondents agreed to pay a total of $5,250 in civil penalties related to corporate contributions made to Terrell for Senate, the principal campaign committee of 2002 Senate candidate Suzanne Haik Terrell (LA).  The matter was initiated by an FEC audit that revealed the committee received prohibited corporate contributions.

ADR 421 stemmed from an FEC audit of Pombo for Congress, the principal campaign committee of Congressman Richard Pombo (CA/11).  The FEC’s audit of the committee’s financial records from the 2004 election cycle indicated the committee may have accepted excessive contributions.  The respondents provided documentation that these excessive contributions had been corrected through contribution refunds or reattributions to other donors.  The Commission dismissed the matter.

In ADRs 371 and 365, the Commission dismissed allegations that Mejias for Congress, the principal campaign committee of 2006 Congressional candidate David Mejias (NY/03) violated multiple reporting provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act) and accepted prohibited contributions.

The FEC’s innovative ADR program has proven very effective at quickly resolving basic violations and reducing the agency’s costs for completing enforcement actions.  Since its inception on October 2, 2000, the ADR program has resolved 391 cases. 

The ADR process is designed to reach an expeditious resolution with a mutually agreeable settlement that is in compliance with the Act.  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 being resolved and participate in mediation, if appropriate.  Settlements reached through ADR participation are submitted to the Commissioners for final approval.  Completed ADR negotiated settlement summaries are available on the FEC’s web site and at its Public Records Office.  Additional information regarding the ADR program is available at http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/adr.shtml

This release contains only summary information.  For additional details, please consult publicly available documents for each case in the Enforcement Query System (EQS) on the FEC web site at http://eqs.fec.gov/eqs/searcheqs .

1.

ADR 413

RESPONDENTS:

Van Taylor for Congress and Roy Giddens, in his official capacity as Treasurer.

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (Reports Analysis Division)

SUBJECT:

Failure to disclose all financial activity

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$5,300 civil penalty

The Reports Analysis Division referred Van Taylor for Congress, the principal campaign committee of 2006 Congressional candidate Nicholas Van Campen Taylor (TX/17), for failing to disclose all financial activity on its 2006 12 Day Pre-General and 2006 30 Day Post-General reports.  The committee filed an amended Pre-General Report in January of 2007, disclosing additional disbursements totaling $102,808.40.  That same month, the committee also amended its Post-General Report, disclosing additional disbursements of $58,836.58.

Respondents acknowledged the inadvertent errors on both reports.  According to the committee, the increase in disbursements on the Pre-General was the result of one omitted media buy and two other electronic funds transfers.  The committee stated the error was inadvertent and was corrected after it was discovered during an internal audit.  The Committee contended that the omissions in the Post-General Report were due to staff turnover.

Respondents agreed to pay a civil penalty and work with FEC staff to terminate the committee.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 413 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. N.W. in Washington.

2.

ADR 409

RESPONDENTS:

Blue America PAC and Howard Klein, in his official capacity as Treasurer.

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (Reports Analysis Division)

SUBJECT:

Failure to file 24 Hour Notices

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

$900 civil penalty

The Reports Analysis Division referred respondents for failing to file six 24 Hour Notices totaling $25,005.84 for independent expenditures that were later disclosed on the committee’s 2006 30 Day Post-General Report.

The Committee acknowledged an inadvertent violation and agreed to pay a civil penalty, develop a compliance manual for internal use and participate in training with Commission staff.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 409 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. N.W. in Washington.

3.

ADR 255

RESPONDENTS:

a.) S.J. Deshotels, Jr., M.D.

b.) Todd J. Guerin, Professional Accounting Corporation

c.) LaPorte, Sehrt, Romig & Hand, Professional Accounting Corporation

d.) Mirabeau Apartments, LLC

e.) Clovis & Roche, Inc.

f.) Delta Medical Equipment & Supply, Co.

g.) Gryon, LLC

h.) Schofield, Gerard, Veron, Singletary & Pohorelsky, P.C.

i.) Bayou Boeuf Electric, LLC

j.) Paul T. Finger, M.D., P.C.

k.) Kenneth Haik, M.D.

l.) Hollander Properties, Inc.

m.) Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, LLC

n.) Dorignac’s Food Center, LLC

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (Audit Division)

SUBJECT:

Prohibited Contributions

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

a-d) $125 civil penalty each

e-h.) $250 civil penalty each

i-m.) $500 civil penalty each
n.) $1,250 civil penalty

The FEC conducted an audit of Terrell for Senate, the principal campaign committee of 2002 Republican Senate candidate Suzanne Haik Terrell (LA).  The audit found that the committee received numerous prohibited contributions from Limited Liability Companies (LLCs) and corporations.

Each of the following respondents made a prohibited corporate contribution totaling $250 and agreed to pay a $125 civil penalty: S.J. Deshotels, Jr., M.D.; Todd J. Guerin, Professional Accounting Corporation; LaPorte, Sehrt, Romig & Hand, Professional Accounting Corporation; and Mirabeau Apartments, LLC.

Each of the following respondents made a prohibited corporate contribution totaling $500 and agreed to pay a $250 civil penalty: Clovis & Roche, Inc.; Delta Medical Equipment & Supply, Co.; Gryon, LLC; and Schofield, Gerard, Veron, Singletary & Pohorelsky, P.C.

Each of the following respondents made a prohibited corporate contribution totaling $1,000 and agreed to pay a $500 civil penalty: Bayou Boeuf Electric, LLC; Paul T. Finger, M.D., P.C.; Kenneth Haik, M.D.; Hollander Properties, Inc.; and Sher Garner Cahill Richter Klein & Hilbert, LLC.

Dorignac’s Food Center, LLC, made prohibited corporate contributions totaling $2,500 to Terrell for Senate and agreed to pay a civil penalty of $1,250.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 255 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. N.W. in Washington.

4.

ADR 421

RESPONDENTS:

Richard Pombo for Congress and David Bauer, in his official capacity as Treasurer.

SOURCE:

FEC Initiated (Audit Division)

SUBJECT:

Excessive Contributions

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Dismiss the matter

The Audit Division referred Richard Pombo for Congress, the principal campaign committee of Representative Richard Pombo (CA/11), for accepting excessive contributions during the 2004 election cycle.

An FEC audit of Pombo for Congress revealed the committee accepted contributions from individuals and Native American tribes that exceeded the limitations of the Act by $24,400.  In response to the interim audit, respondents provided documentation that they had refunded excessive contributions totaling $22,400 and presumptively reattributed a $2,000 contribution to another donor.

The Commission dismissed the matter.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from this matter are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 421 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. N.W. in Washington.

5/6.

ADR 371/ 365

RESPONDENTS:

a.) Mejias for Congress and Michael Norman, in his official capacity as Treasurer.

b.) David Mejias

SOURCE:

Complaint in Matter Under Review (MUR) 5807 (ADR 371)

Complaint in MUR 5801 (ADR 365)

SUBJECT:

Failure to disclose receipts accurately and acceptance of corporate contributions (ADR 371 & ADR 365)

Acceptance of contributions from nonfederal committees (ADR 365)

NEGOTIATED SETTLEMENT:

Dismiss the matters

The matters were initiated by complaints filed with the Commission (MURs 5807 & 5801) alleging that the respondents failed to disclose receipts accurately. According to the complaints, Mejias for Congress, the principal campaign committee of 2006 Congressional candidate David Mejias (NY/03), failed to disclose partnership contributions accurately, failed to disclose individual contributor information accurately and failed to obtain information regarding the corporate status of some contributors.  The complaint in MUR 5807 also alleged the committee accepted contributions from nonfederal officials and committees that were not registered with the FEC.

Respondents contended that any errors were inadvertent and were due to inexperienced staff.  The committee also contended they made efforts to correct and amend reports.

After considering the circumstances, the Commission determined the matters did not merit further use of the Commission’s limited resources and exercised its prosecutorial discretion to dismiss the matters.

DOCUMENTS ON PUBLIC RECORD:

Documents from these matters are available from the Commission’s web site at http://www.fec.gov by entering 371or 365 under case number in the Enforcement Query System.  They are also available in the FEC’s Public Records Office at 999 E St. N.W. in Washington.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is an independent regulatory agency that administers and enforces federal campaign finance laws. The FEC has jurisdiction over the financing of campaigns for the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate, the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.

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