The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed on July 15, 2020. The complaint alleged that Auburn Citizens for Schools (ACS), a political committee registered with the PDC in 2016 to support a bond and in 2020 to support a levy, may have violated: (1) RCW 42.17A.235 and .240 for failure to timely and accurately file Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports) disclosing expenditures for election years 2016 & 2020; and (2) RCW 42.17A.235 and .240 for failure to timely and accurately report carry forward cash for election years 2016 & 2020.
PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the responses provided by committee president, Cari Manry, and committee treasurer, Margaret Keller, for ACS (“the Respondent”); the applicable PDC reports filed by the Respondent; and queried the Respondent’s data in the PDC contribution and expenditure database, to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations.
It appears that the late and incomplete reporting was due to a general lack of knowledge with PDC laws, rules and reporting software, and not done to conceal the campaign activities of ACS. The committee has not been the subject of enforcement matters before the Commission and cooperated with staff to make the corrections referenced above.
As noted in the complaint, staff believes that the way ACS registered each election was partly to blame for the allegations related to the carry forward balances.
Based on our findings staff has determined that, in this instance, failure to timely and accurately file C-4 reports disclosing the campaign activities of ACS during election years 2016 & 2020, does not amount to a finding of a violation that warrants further investigation.
PDC staff is reminding ACS about the importance of the timely and accurate disclosure of all contribution and expenditure activities, including the carry forward balances and expenditure details when required, on all future PDC reports in accordance with the statutes and rules.
Based on this information, the PDC finds that no further action is warranted and has dismissed this matter in accordance with RCW 42.17A.755(1).Disposition: Case Closed with Reminder (Resolved 10/14/2020)