Created By: Sylvia Scott on 12/01/2009 at 11:08 AM
Category: Campaign Finance Rulings
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
DATE: November 20, 2009 OPINION NO.: 2008-246
RE: In the matter of Mary Ann Wiggins
The Louisiana Board of Ethics (the “Board”), in its capacity as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure pursuant to the provisions of Section 1511.4 of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act (the “Act”), conducted an investigation concerning information received that Mary Ann Wiggins, in connection with her campaign for State Representative, District 24, in the October 20, 2007 election, received contributions in excess of the permissible contribution limits from Landmark Construction and Brenda Paul.
On the basis of the information obtained during the course of the investigation and with the consent of Mary Ann Wiggins, the Board now makes the following essential:
I. Mary Ann Wiggins was a candidate for State Representative, District 24, in the October 20, 2007 primary and November 17, 2007 general elections, and as such was a district office level candidate.
FINDINGS OF FACT
2. Brenda Paul is Mary Ann Wiggin’s daughter. Brenda Paul owns 100% of Landmark Construction Company of Coushatta, L.L.C.
3. Ms. Wiggins received in-kind contributions between June and August 2007 from Landmark Construction totaling $4,999.06 for signs and campaign shirts.
4. In August 2007, Ms. Wiggins received a $5,000 loan from Landmark Construction for her campaign.
5. If called to testify, Ms. Wiggins would state that she was not aware that the $2,500 contribution limit applied to in-kind contributions and loans received.
II. The definition of “district office” candidate includes those persons seeking “[t]he office of a member of the Louisiana Legislature.” LSA-R.S. 18:1483(7)(a). The contribution limit for a “district office” candidate is $2,500 per election. LSA-R.S. 8:1505.2H(1)(a)(ii). The contribution limit applies to loans received by the campaign. LSA-R.S.18:1505.2H(3). The definition of “contribution” included in-kind contributions received by the candidate. LSA-R.S. 18:1483(6).
It is the opinion of the Board that Mary Ann Wiggins violated Section 1505.2H of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by receiving a contributions and loans in excess of the permissible limits from Landmark Construction Company. As a candidate for state legislator, Ms. Wiggins was a district office candidate and her contribution limit was $2,500 for the primary election. Ms. Wiggins received a total of $9,999.06 in contributions and loans from Landmark Construction in connection with the primary election. Therefore, Ms. Wiggins received $7,499.06 in contributions/loans in excess of the permissible limit.
Given the facts outlined above, it is the conclusion of the Board that the interest of the public would be served by the imposition of a $1,000 penalty on Mary Ann Wiggins for violating Section 1505.2H of the CFDA.
IV. IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board, in its capacity as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure, finds as a matter of fact and as a conclusion of law that Mary Ann Wiggins violated Section 1505.2H of the CFDA by receiving contributions/loans in the amount of $7,999.06 in excess of the permissible limits.
DECREE AND ORDER
IT IS ORDERED that a penalty of $1,000 payable to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, is hereby imposed on Mary Ann Wiggins for violating the CFDA.
By Order of the Board this 20th day of November, 2009.
s/Frank P. Simoneaux s/Scott E. Frazier
Frank P. Simoneaux, Chairman Scott E. Frazier, Vice-Chairman
s/Dr. Robert P. Bareikis s/Rev. Gail E. Bowman
Dr. Robert P. Bareikis Rev. Gail E. Bowman
s/James G. Boyer s/Gary G. Hymel
James G. Boyer Gary G. Hymel
Absent and did not participate. s/Dr. Cedric W. Lowrey
Jean M. Ingrassia Dr. Cedric W. Lowrey
s/M. Blake Monrose s/Scott D. Schneider
M. Blake Monrose Scott D. Schneider
s/David Grove Stafford, Jr.
David Grove Stafford, Jr.
The undersigned (a) stipulates to the facts found by the Board; (b) waives the procedural requirements contained in R.S. 18:1511.1; (c) admits that the conduct, as described above, violated R.S. 18:1505.2H; (d) consents to the publication of this opinion; (e) agrees to comply with the conditions and orders set forth in this opinion; and, (f) agrees not to seek judicial review of the findings and actions taken in this opinion.
s/Mary Ann Wiggins 8/8/09 Mary Ann Wiggins Date