Case #74390
Respondent name: Sharlett Mena
Complainant name: Kess Smith

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint filed on July 28, 2020. The complaint alleged that Sharlett Mena, a candidate for State Representative in Legislative District 29, in the August 4, 2020 primary election, may have violated 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 undertaken by the Campaign.

PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the response provided by Dorian Waller, Campaign Consultant with Archway Consulting, on behalf of 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.

Sharlett Mena is a first-time candidate, with a volunteer treasurer, and has not previously been found in violation of the PDC campaign finance laws or rules. Although Ms. Mena employed the services of a consulting firm, Mr. Waller was not involved in the campaign reporting obligations. It appears that the reporting discrepancies were caused by a general lack of knowledge regarding the requirements for the disclosure of campaign expenses and not meant to conceal campaign activity from the public.

Based on our findings staff has determined that, in this instance, failure to timely and accurately report a small number of expenditures, does not amount to a finding of a violation that warrants further investigation.

PDC staff reminded Sharlett Mena about the importance of the timely and accurate filing of campaign expenditures, specifically the detailed descriptions required for expenses, on 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 10/26/2020)
Date opened: 07/31/2020
Area of Law: RCW 42.17A.235, RCW 42.17A.240

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