2007-1050
Created By: Sylvia Scott on 12/01/2009 at 10:56 AM
Category: Campaign Finance Rulings
Caption:
Dismissed Document:


LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS

DATE: November 20, 2009 OPINION NO.: 2007-1050

RE: In the Matter of William Torres

The Board of Ethics, acting as the Supervisory Committee on Campaign Finance Disclosure (the “Board”), conducted a confidential investigation concerning information that revealed that William Torres, an unsuccessful candidate for Terrebonne Parish Sheriff in the October 20, 2007 general election, may have violated provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by his receipt of loans guaranteed in amounts in excess of his $2,500 contribution limit and his failure to disclose the names of the guarantors on his campaign finance disclosure reports filed in connection with the October 20, 2007 election.
On the basis of information obtained by the Board during the course of the investigation, and with the concurrence of William Torres, the Board now makes the following:
I.
FINDINGS OF FACTS
1.
William Torres was an unsuccessful candidate for Sheriff, Terrebonne Parish, in the October 20, 2007 election.
2.
William Torres was a “district office” candidate with a $2,500 contribution limit for each election.
3.
William Torres filed a thirtieth day prior to the primary (30-P) campaign finance disclosure report on September 21, 2007 that disclosed the receipt of a $165,000 personal loan.
4.
On October 17, 2007, Mr. Torres filed an amended report reporting that the $165,000 loan was not a personal loan but was instead a loan from South Louisiana Bank.
5.
Mr. Torres failed to disclose the names of the guarantors of the loan.
6.
Information provided to the Board reveals that Mr. Torres’s campaign obtained two loans from South Louisiana Bank. One loan for $100,800 on July 27, 2007 guaranteed by Barry Alford and a second loan for $75,485.03 on September 28, 2007 guaranteed by Roy LeBouef, Jr.
II.
APPLICABLE LAW
1.
The following contribution limits are established for contributions made to candidates or the principal campaign committee and any subsidiary committee of a candidate for the following offices:

(i) Major office - five thousand dollars.
(ii) District office - two thousand five hundred dollars.
(iii) Other office - one thousand dollars.

2.

Section 1505.2 H (3)(c) provides :

No candidate . . . shall accept from the same contributor a loan, transfer funds, or contribution . . . in the aggregate for all reporting periods of an election . . . in excess of the contribution limits established in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection . . . .
3.

Section 1505.2H(6)(a) provides:

For purposes of this Subsection, "loan" shall not include any loan of money by a state bank, a federally chartered depository institution, or a depository institution the deposits or accounts of which are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, or the Federal Credit Union Administration, any licensed lender under the Louisiana Consumer Law, or an insurance company, other than any overdraft made with respect to a checking or savings account, made in accordance with applicable law and in the ordinary course of business, but such loan:
(I) Shall be considered a loan by each endorser or guarantor, in that proportion of the unpaid balance that each endorser or guarantor bears to the total number of endorsers or guarantors, and such loan by each endorser and guarantor shall be subject to the contribution limits provided in this Subsection (emphasis added)


4.


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.

III.
OPINION
It is the opinion of the Board that William Torres violated the contribution limits contained in Section 1505.2H of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by his receipt of a $100,800 loan from South Louisiana Bank guaranteed by Barry Alford and his receipt of a $75,485 loan from South Louisiana Bank guaranteed by Roy LeBouef, Jr., in excess of William Torres’ $2,500 contribution limit.
It is further the opinion of the Board that William Torres violated Section 1505.1.C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by failing to accurately disclose the amounts of the loans and the names of the guarantors of the loans received by his campaign.
It is the decision of the Board that the interest of the public would best be served by publication of this opinion with the imposition of a $5,000 fine.
IV.
DECREE AND ORDER
For the foregoing reasons:
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and a conclusion of law that William Torres violated the contribution limits contained in Section 1505.2H of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by his receipt of a $100,800 loan from South Louisiana Bank guaranteed by Barry Alford, in excess of Mr. Torres’ $2,500 contribution limit.
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and a conclusion of law that William Torres violated the contribution limits contained in Section 1505.2H of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by his receipt of a $75,485 loan from South Louisiana Bank guaranteed by Roy LeBouef, Jr., in excess of Mr. Torres’ $2,500 contribution limit.
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and a conclusion of law that William Torres violated Section 1505.1.C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by failing to accurately disclose the amounts of the loans and the names of the guarantors of the loans received by his campaign.
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that a $5,000 fine be imposed upon William Torres for the above-described violations of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act and that said fine be paid to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana.

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.

CONSENT

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. 18:1505.2H and 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/William Torres 9/2/2009
William Torres Date
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