Letter of reprimand, fine possible for missing campaign reporting deadline

Four mayoral candidates including incumbent Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. could be fined for failing to file campaign contribution and expenditure reports on time.

The deadline for filing pre-election reports was Oct. 30, seven days before the November general election and Redus, Alderman Thelma Walker, John James Jr. and Kent Broughton did not file reports.

Redus told a Commercial reporter Friday that a computer malfunction was the reason his campaign report had not been delivered. The mayor said some information had been accidentally eliminated, but his finance director was working on the matter and should have the report finalized possibly by Friday afternoon and no later than Monday.

Redus’ secretary took the reporter’s telephone number and Redus instructed that the reporter be notified when the report is done.

Walker and James, both said Wednesday they would be filing reports later this week and Broughton could not be reached for comment.

Neither Walker’s or James’ reports had been filed at the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office by late Friday afternoon.

Graham Sloan, director of the Arkansas Ethics Commission, which monitors the reports, said candidates are not required to file a pre-election report if they had not received contributions or spent more than $500 during their campaign, but would be required to file a final report, regardless of contributions or expenditures by Dec. 31.

Sloan said persons who fail to file a report could receive a public violation letter, which could range from a caution to a warning to a reprimand, or be fined between $50 and $2,000.

In order for the commission to take action, a complaint must be filed, and an investigation would be conducted by the commission to determine if a violation did occur.

Sloan said the results of that investigation would be forwarded to the commission, whose members are appointed by the governor, and they would make a decision on any sanction issued.

Commercial reporter Rick Joslin contributed to this report.