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  • FEC Record: Litigation

O’Donnell and campaign must pay penalty for personal use (FEC v. O’Donnell, D. Del. 1:15-cv-17)

May 1, 2017

On April 19, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (“the Court”) ordered Christine O’Donnell, her campaign, and her treasurer (“the defendants”) to pay a civil penalty for violating the ban on personal use of campaign funds.

Background

On September 21, 2016, the Court granted the Commission’s motion for summary judgment in its case against the defendants for impermissibly converting campaign funds to the personal use of Christine O’Donnell. In 2010, the campaign rented a townhouse in Greenville, Delaware, to use as headquarters during O’Donnell’s campaign for Senate. For at least ten months, during which the campaign paid rent and utilities, Ms. O’Donnell lived on the upper floors of the townhouse, above the campaign office.

Decision

Following the Court’s decision on summary judgment, the FEC and defendants engaged in negotiations in an effort to reach a settlement. Failing to reach a settlement agreement, both parties submitted briefs to the Court addressing appropriate remedies. The Court ordered O’Donnell to disgorge $5,701.85, ordered the defendants jointly to pay a penalty of $25,000, and entered a permanent injunction prohibiting defendants from engaging in further personal use violations.

Resources:

  • Author 
    • Christopher Berg
    • Communications Specialist
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