The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed by Brian Estes on November 18, 2018. The complaint alleged that Michael Peetoom, a first-time candidate seeking the office of Council Member in Whatcom County, may have violated RCW 42.17A.235 for failure to timely or accurately file Monetary Contribution reports (C-3 reports) or Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports), disclosing contributions and expenditures undertaken by the Campaign.
PDC staff reviewed your allegations, the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the response provided by Michael Peetoom; and the applicable PDC reports filed by the Campaign, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.
Based on these findings and the following facts, staff has determined that in this instance, the failure to accurately file the contribution and expenditure reports does not amount to a material violation warranting further investigation since: (1) Michael Peetoom was a first-time candidate for public office who lost the General Election in 2018; (2) The Campaign made minor or ministerial errors on required reports, which did not materially impact the public interest; (3) The $100 expenditure for signage represented less than .7 percent of the $14,447 in total expenditures made by the Campaign; and (4) Michael Peetoom amended the reports and made the necessary technical corrections.
PDC staff is reminding Michael Peetoom about the importance of timely and accurately disclosing all contribution and expenditure activities, including the accurate filing of expense descriptions for all future PDC reports, including the C-1 and F-1 reports. Based on this information, the PDC has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1), and will not be conducting a more formal investigation into your complaint or pursuing further enforcement action in this case.