Created By: Sylvia Scott on 01/29/2009 at 11:28 AM
Category: Campaign Finance Rulings
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
DATE: December 11, 2008 OPINION NO.: 2006-777
RE: In the Matter of Mike Francis
The Louisiana Board of Ethics (“the Board”), in its capacity as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure, pursuant to the authority contained in LSA-R.S. 18:1511.4, conducted a confidential investigation concerning information that revealed that Mike Francis, an unsuccessful candidate for Secretary of State in the September 30, 2006 election, may have violated provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by failing to accurately file campaign finance disclosure reports.
On the basis of information obtained during the investigation, and with the concurrence of Mike Francis, the Board now makes the following essential:
I. Mike Francis was an unsuccessful candidate for Secretary of State in the September 30, 2006 election.
FINDINGS OF FACT
2. Mike Francis timely filed campaign finance disclosure reports in connection with the September 30, 2006 election; however, he failed to itemize expenditures made on behalf of the campaign through Francis Drilling Fluids.
3. On his tenth day prior to the general election (10-G) campaign finance disclosure report, Mr. Francis disclosed an expenditure of $19,631.07 to Francis Drilling Fluids for the purpose of sign making and placement.
4. Information provided to the Board by Mr. Francis shows that the payment to Francis Drilling Fluid was a reimbursement to the corporation for expenditures made by Francis Drilling Fluid on the campaign’s behalf for the making and placement of signs.
5. Mr. Francis filed amended campaign finance disclosure reports accurately reflecting the itemized expenditures on April 27, 2007.
6. If called to testify, Mr. Francis would state that he was unaware that his actions were in violation of the provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
II. La. R.S. 18:1495.5C provides in pertinent part as follows:
C. Expenditures made by a public relations firm, an advertising agency or agent for a candidate shall be considered expenditures of the candidate and must be reported as required by this Section.
La. R.S. 18:1505.1C provides:C. Failure to disclose or failure to disclose accurately any information required to be submitted by this Chapter shall constitute a violation of this Chapter.
La. R.S. 18:1495.5C provides that expenditures made by an agent for a candidate shall be considered expenditures of the candidate. Failure to accurately report transactions related to a campaign results in a violation of Section 1505.1C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. Based on the facts as outlined above, it is the opinion of the Board that Mike Francis violated Section 1505.1.C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. It is further the opinion of the Board that a $1,000 penalty, payable to Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, should be imposed upon Mike Francis for the violation of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
For the foregoing reasons:
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and as a conclusion of law that Mike Francis violated Section 1505.1.C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that a civil penalty of $1,000,. payable to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, be imposed upon Mike Francis for the violation of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
By Order of the Board this 11th day of December 2008.
s/Frank P. Simoneaux s/Scott E. Frazier
Frank P. Simoneaux, Chairman Scott E. Frazier, Vice-Chairman
s/Robert P. Bareikis s/Gail E. Bowman (Rev.)
Dr. Robert P. Bareikis Rev. Gail E. Bowman
s/James G. Boyer s/Gary G. Hymel
James G. Boyer Gary G. Hymel
s/Jean M. Ingrassis s/C. W. Lowrey, M.D.
Jean M. Ingrassia Dr. Cedric W. Lowrey
s/M. Blake Monrose Absent and did not participate.
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 Section 1141 of the Code; c) admits that his conduct, as described above, violated La. R.S. 18:1505.1C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act; (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/Mike Francis 9/25/2008
Mike Francis Date