Sprung, Jeff: Alleged Violation of RCW 42.17A.235, .240 for failure to timely, accurately, and properly report contributions, expenditures, debt, loans, candidate registration, and personal financial assets. (NOV 17)

Case

#27563

Respondent

Jeff Sprung

Complainant

Glen Morgan

Description

The Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has completed its review of the complaint Glen Morgan filed on November 10, 2017. The complaint alleged that Jeff Sprung, a 2016 candidate for the office of Washington State Auditor, may have violated several provisions of Chapter 42.17A RCW as detailed below. 
 

PDC staff reviewed the allegations; the applicable statutes, rules, and reporting requirements; the responses provided by Mr. Sprung; queried the Respondent’s data in the PDC contribution and expenditure database; and reviewed the Candidate Registrations (C-1 reports), Monetary Contributions reports (C-3 reports), and Summary Full Campaign Contribution and Expenditure reports (C-4 reports) filed by the 2016 Friends of Jeff Sprung Campaign (Campaign) to determine whether the record supports a finding of one or more violations. 

Staff noted the Campaign made expenditures either as reimbursements to individuals or volunteers, or payments made to a consultant or vendor for which it appears a more detailed description breakdown including sub-vendor information likely should have been provided.  The response provided by the Campaign identified several items where the number of items printed should have been disclosed on the Schedule A to C-4 reports. 

At the request of staff, the Campaign filed a number of amended reports disclosing additional detailed contribution and expenditure information to bring the 2016 Campaign into compliance with the reporting requirements.  The amended information disclosed on the C-4 reports included the number of items printed for political advertising, and the breakdown of sub-vendors utilized by the Campaign and the amounts attributable to each.  Staff has classified these issues as reporting discrepancies which are minor or technical in nature, and do not rise to the level of enforcement action. 

Jeff Sprung was a first-time candidate for public office in 2016, seeking election to a high-profile Statewide Office in which his Campaign disclosed receiving $283,196 in total contributions received and expenditures made.   

PDC staff found no evidence of a violation that would require conducting a more formal investigation into the complaint or pursuing enforcement action in this instance.  

Pursuant to WAC 390-37-060(1)(d), Jeff Sprung will receive a formal written warning concerning failure to accurately and completely disclose committee officers on the Candidate Registration (C-1) and to accurately and completely report debts and obligations on Summary Full Campaign Contributions and Expenditures reports (C-4 reports). The Commission will consider the formal written warning in deciding on further Commission action if there are future violations of PDC laws or rules. In addition, Jeff Sprung will be made aware of the changes to the disclosure of debt and other reporting requirements as part of the passage of ESHB 2938 (2018).  

Furthermore, PDC staff is reminding Jeff Sprung about the importance of timely, accurately, and completely disclosing personal financial affairs on the Personal Financial Affairs Statement (F-1 report), including assets and customers of entities in which he holds an office, directorship, partnership interest, or ownership interest of ten percent or more. PDC staff expects timely, accurate, and complete disclosure of personal financial affairs in the future. 

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 Written Warning

Date Opened

November 16, 2017

Areas of Law

RCW 42.17A.205, RCW 42.17A.235, RCW 42.17A.240, RCW 42.17A.425, RCW 42.17A.430, RCW 42.17A.445, rcw 42.17a.465, RCW 42.17A.700, RCW 42.17A.710, WAC 390-16-037, wac 390-16-205, WAC 390-16-238

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