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PDC fines Mayor Lee $300 for late filing of PAC reports

Mayor Conrad Lee - Courtesy Photo
Mayor Conrad Lee
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The Washington Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) fined Mayor Conrad Lee $300 for failing to timely file a series of reports for a PAC he formed back in 2010.

Lee created New Americans for Accountable Government (NAAG) in the general election two years ago, which raised $10,000 and campaigned on behalf of republican state representatives Gregg Bennett (48th LD), Steve Litzow (41st LD), Phil Wilson (48th LD) and Peter Dunbar (41st LD).

The charges come after a similar violation in 2009 during his bid for re-election.The PDC accused him of failing to report $23,427 in expenditures and $3,981 on election mailings in a timely manner. That violation was reported by Bellevue resident Steve Finley, also responsible for the most recent complaint.

“I hope that he will finally start obeying the law,” said Finley. “...This is a longstanding problem and one would hope he has learned his lesson. I think it’s really unfortunate when an elected official doesn’t obey the law.”

Mayor Lee said that he would likely not appeal the charges, but that it had been an accident. NAAG’s campaign treasurer reported a computer filing failure and a miscommunication with the PDC.

Lori Anderson of the PDC, said that the severity of the penalty would not be impacted by his previous infraction. Allegations of over-limit contributions were dismissed. Mayor Lee will instead be fined $200 for the late filing of a post-general election report, and $100 for failing to timely disclose NAAG’s independent expenditures for political advertisements totaling $7,816.

Senator Litzow won the 2010 election by a slim margin of 192 votes. Finley says the news makes him question whether Lee’s PAC affected the outcome of that election.

“Nobody can answer that question, but it very well could have,” he said. “The law that created the PDC was an initiative passed by voters. Voters clearly want to know where the money is coming from.”

 

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