2007-481
Created By: Sylvia Scott on 12/08/2009 at 03:33 PM
Category: Campaign Finance Rulings
Caption:
Dismissed Document:


LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS

DATE: November 20, 2009 OPINION NO.: 2007-481

RE: In the Matter of Edward J. Price, III


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 Edward J. “Eddie” Price, an unopposed candidate for Mayor of the City of Mandeville in the March 9, 2004 general election, may have violated provisions of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by using campaign funds for his personal use and by failing to accurately file campaign finance disclosure reports.
On the basis of information obtained during the investigation, and with the concurrence of Edward J. “Eddie” Price, the Board now makes the following essential:
I.
FINDINGS OF FACT
1.
Edward J. Price, III was an unopposed candidate for Mayor of the City of Mandeville in the March 9, 2004 general election.
2.
On his 2006 Annual campaign finance disclosure report, filed on February 15, 2007, Mr. Price noted a loan dated December 31, 2006 of $3,300 to Craftsmen Investments, L.L.C. at 342 Robinhood Drive, Covington, Louisiana 70433.
3.
Edward J. Price, III owns a 25% interest in Craftsmen Investments, L.L.C.
4.
On his 2006 Annual campaign finance disclosure report, filed on February 15, 2008, there is an expenditure dated January 8, 2007 of $3,451 to MBNA for the purpose of “gifts for golf tournament.”
5.
Edward J. Price, III failed to itemize the expenditures made with the MBNA credit card in connection with the golf tournament gifts. Despite requests from the staff of the Ethics Administration, Edward J. Price, III has not amended the campaign finance disclosure report to disclose an itemized list of the purchases made on the MBNA credit card.
6.
Craftsmen Investments, LLC repaid the loan by checks dated September 22, 2007 and October 22, 2007 to the Edward J. Price, III Campaign Fund.
7.
Edward J. Price, III has failed to file a 2008 Annual/Supplemental report disclosing the loan repayment to his campaign.
II.
APPLICABLE LAW
Section 1505.2I of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act prohibits campaign funds from being used, loaned, or pledged for any personal use unrelated to a political campaign or the holding of public office
The provisions of LSA-R.S. 18:1505.2(J) provide that any candidate who violates the prohibition on personal use of campaign funds shall be assessed a penalty of $5,000 or the amount of the violation, whichever is greater, except that the penalty for a knowing and willful violation shall be not more than $10,000 or 200% of the violation, whichever is greater.
Section 1505.1C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act provides that 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 and conclusion of the Board that Edward J. Price, III violated the restrictions on the use of campaign funds in the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act when he used campaign funds for personal use and that he failed to accurately file his campaign finance disclosure report. In this particular situation, given the facts outlined above, it is the conclusion of the Board that Edward J. Price, III be ordered to amend his 2006 Supplemental report itemizing the expenditures made to MBNA credit card and to file a 2007 Supplemental report disclosing the repayment of the loan to Craftsmen Investments, LLC and assessing the maximum late fee of $1,000 for his failure to file the 2007 Supplemental report.
It is further the opinion of the Board that the interest of the public would be served by the imposition of a $3,500 civil penalty, made payable to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, be imposed upon Edward J. Price, III for his violations of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.

IV.
DECREE AND ORDER
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 Edward J. Price, III violated La. R.S. 1505.2I of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by using campaign funds for personal use.
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and as a conclusion of law that Edward J. Price, III violated La. R.S. 1505.1C of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by failing to accurately file his 2006 Supplemental report in connection with the March 9, 2004 election.
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and as a conclusion of law that Edward J. Price, III violated La. R.S. 1483 of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by failing to file his 2007 Supplemental report in connection with the March 9, 2004 election and orders that he file the required report and that the maximum late fee of $1,000 be assessed against him for the failure to file the required report.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that a civil penalty of $3,500, made payable to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, be imposed upon Edward J. Price, III using campaign funds for personal use.

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 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/Edward J. Price, III June 17, 2008

Edward J. Price, III Date

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