Citizens for Progress Enterprise Washington: Alleged violations of RCW 42.17A.240, WAC 390-16-037 & RCW 42.17A.255, .260 or .305 for failure to accurately report expenditures & timely report political advertising. (EY 18; Aug 18)

Case

#39159

Respondent

Citizens for Progress Enterprise Washington

Complainant

Sarah Norman-Elbaum

Description

On August 2, 2018, Sarah Norman-Elbaum filed a complaint alleging that Citizens for Progress Enterprise Washington was hiding from the public its support for Wendy Weiker by failing to disclose on C-4 expenditure reports detailed information about its political advertising expenditures, including the names of candidates being supported.  After conducting a preliminary review and assessment of the complaint, PDC staff opened a formal investigation on October 17, 2019, and held an Initial Hearing (Case Status Review Hearing) on October 19, 2018, pursuant to RCW 42.17A.755, and WACs 390-37-060 and 390-37-071.   

After conducting a formal investigation, staff scheduled an enforcement hearing that was held March 28, 2019.  The hearing concerned allegations that Citizens for Progress Enterprise Washington violated RCW 42.17A.240 by failing to adequately describe the purpose of expenditures on C-4 reports as required by RCW 42.17A.240, WAC 390-16-037 and WAC 390-16-205, and RCW 42.17A.305 by failing to timely file C-6 reports of electioneering communications within 24 hours of presenting or mailing the advertisements and communications to the public.  The parties jointly submitted a signed Stipulation as to Facts, Violations and Penalty.  The Commission accepted the Stipulation, but proposed that the non-suspended portion of the penalty be paid within 30 days rather than within 90 days.  This change was accepted by the parties.  By accepting the Stipulation, the Commission found that Citizens for Progress Enterprise Washington violated RCW 42.17A.240 and RCW 42.17A.305 as described above. 

The Commission accepted the amended Stipulation and ordered that the Respondent is assessed a total civil penalty of $21,000 with $10,500 suspended on the following conditions: (1) that the Respondent is not found to have committed any further violations of RCW 42.17A or WAC 390 within four years of the date of the final order in this matter. The suspended penalty shall not be assessed based upon any remediable violation, minor violation, or error classified by the commission as appropriate to address by a technical correction. (2) that the Respondent files amended C-4 reports that are in full compliance with the disclosure requirements of RCW 42.17A.240, WAC 390-16-037, and WAC 390-16-205, within thirty days from the date of the final order, and is in compliance with all reporting requirements. (3) that the Respondent pays the non-suspended portion of the penalty ($10,500) within thirty days from the date of the final order.

Disposition

Violation Found by Commission

Date Opened

August 13, 2018

Areas of Law

RCW.42.17A.240, RCW 42.17A.305, WAC 390-16-037, wac 390-16-205

Penalties

Total penalties: $21,000

Balance Due: $0

Citizens for Progress Enterprise Washington

Penalty
$21,000
Suspended
$10,500
Payments
$10,500 on 04/24/2019 (Paid by Check)

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