The PDC received a complaint alleging that Melissa Smith (the “Respondent”) may have violated RCW 42.17A.205 & .235 by failing to timely register as a candidate within two weeks of declaring candidacy & timely disclose contributions and expenditures undertaken by the campaign on C-3 & C-4 reports for election year 2019.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations and evidence provided; the applicable statutes, rules and reporting requirements; the response provided by the Respondent; and the Respondent’s reporting history to determine whether they support a finding of one or more violations. Staff’s review found the following:
The Respondent publicly declared as a (write-in) candidate on or about October 9, 2019 and was therefore required to file a Candidate Registration (C-1 report) with the PDC within two weeks, or no later than October 23, 2019. The Respondent successfully filed a C-1 report with the PDC on December 13, 2019, after the election and 51 days late.
On her C-1 report, the Respondent selected the Mini-reporting Option, whereby a candidate’s campaign is not required to file C-3 & C-4 reports with the PDC if they raise & spend no more than $5,000 and receive no more than $500 from any one contributor.
In her response to the complaint, the Respondent indicated that a medical procedure & subsequent recovery contributed to noncompliance.
Based on these findings, staff determined that, in this instance, the Respondent’s failure to timely register as a candidate does not amount to a violation that warrants further investigation. However, the PDC issued the Respondent a formal written Warning, including PDC staff's expectation that the Respondent will timely file all required reports in future years. The Commission will consider the formal written Warning in deciding on further Commission action if there are future violations of PDC laws or rules. The PDC has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).Disposition: Case Closed with Written Warning (Resolved 01/07/2020)