Alderman Easterly fined by state ethics body

Click here for a followup article in which Easterly responds further.

The Arkansas Ethics Commission fined Pine Bluff City Alderman Wayne Easterly $150 and issued him a public letter of caution this week after finding that he violated several sections of Arkansas campaign finance law during the 2010 election cycle.

AEC Director Graham F. Sloan stated in a letter dated Jan. 27 that Easterly has since filed an amended pre-election report, an amended final report and a carryover fund report with the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office to provide the information found by the AEC to have been lacking in Easterly’s original filings.

“There was nothing wrong there except for clerical mistakes,” Easterly said Wednesday afternoon. “This is not an issue of money being unaccounted for or misappropriated. It was just the result of being in a hurry.”

Easterly was specifically found to have failed to disclose a beginning campaign fund balance of $752.34 in his pre-election finance report and to disclose carryover fund activity prior to the 2010 election cycle and the subsequent transfer of carryover funds to his 2010 campaign account.

“In terms of the $752 that was carried over from my 2006 campaign, it was supposed to be marked as carryover in the report and I didn’t do that,” Easterly said.

The AEC also found that Easterly failed to disclose itemized contributions and $805.89 in expenditures in his 2010 pre-election report; failed to disclose $699.53 in campaign expenditures on his 2010 final campaign finance report; and failed to disclose information concerning the categorization of $598 in expenditures in the 2010 final report.

“As for the contributions, the problem was that we had left the dates that we received the contributions off of the report,” Easterly said. “On the issue of disclosing expenditures, I showed the expenditure total for advertising but didn’t show exactly who received the money.”

Easterly said that the $150 fine levied against him was based on a $50 fine for the errors found in each of his three original filings.

“There were three different reports that had mistakes and I was fined $50 per report,” Easterly said.

The AEC notified Easterly in a letter dated Nov. 1, 2013, that it was opening an investigation into his campaign finance filings based on allegations made against him in a citizen complaint filed by Gary Wilson.