Wilkinson v. FEC
On October 29, 2002, the Commission found reason to believe (RTB) that the Committee and Mr. Wilkinson failed to file the July quarterly report, and on December 23 the Commission found RTB that they failed to file the October quarterly report. The Commission calculated a $2,700 penalty for each report based on the FEC's schedule of administrative fine penalties. Mr. Wilkinson challenged the RTB findings under the administrative process provided for in Commission regulations. 11 CFR 111.35-111.37. After reviewing the RTB findings and Mr. Wilkinson's written responses, the FEC Reviewing Officer recommended that the Commission make a final determination that the Committee and Mr. Wilkinson violated 2 U.S.C. §434(a) and assess $5,400 in civil penalties, based on the two reports. On July 8, 2003, the Commission adopted the Reviewing Officer's recommendations and made final determinations.
On February 3, 2004, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division, granted the FEC and Clark Wilkinson's joint motion to dismiss this case. Mr. Wilkinson had asked the court to set aside the Commission's final determination that, as treasurer of the Friends of Bob Gross Committee, he failed to file the Committee's July and October 2002 quarterly reports. Mr. Wilkinson had also asked the court to set aside the Commission's assessment of $5,400 in civil money penalties under its administrative fines regulations. 11 CFR 111.30-111.45.
In his court complaint, Mr. Wilkinson asserted that he resigned as treasurer of the Committee on May 11, 2002, and sent the Committee written notice to that effect on May 13, 2002. Mr. Wilkinson argued that, because he resigned as treasurer prior to the two reporting dates, it was not his responsibility to file the July and October 2002 quarterly reports, and, therefore, the Commission's final determination and assessment of a civil money penalty against him is in error.