Created By: Sylvia Scott on 08/16/2005 at 02:28 PM
Category: Campaign Finance Rulings
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS
DATED: August 11, 2005 OPINION NO.: 2005-078
RE: In the Matter of Elliot Willard
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 Elliott Willard, an unsuccessful candidate for Orleans Parish School Board, in the September 18, 2004 election, may have violated Section 1505.2E of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by making cash payments to campaign workers.
On the basis of information obtained during the investigation, and with the concurrence of Elliot Willard, the Board now makes the following essential:
I. Elliot Willard was an unsuccessful candidate for Orleans Parish School Board in the September 18, 2004 election.
FINDINGS OF FACT
2. On his election day expenditure (EDE-P) report filed on September 28, 2004, Mr. Willard reported making payments to seventy-six persons totaling $5,015 for campaign services.
3. On his tenth day prior to the general election (10-G) campaign finance disclosure report filed on October 2, 2004, Mr. Willard reported a payment in the amount of $5,000 to Dominic Willard. The payments purpose was noted as “cash for election day workers.”
4. Mr. Willard has admitted that the seventy-six persons, listed as campaign workers on his EDE-P report, received cash payments from his campaign for their services.
5. Mr. Willard was a candidate for a “district level” office.
II. LSA-R.S. 18:1505.2E provides in pertinent part as follows:
No expenditure in excess of one hundred dollars shall be made from a petty cash fund and no expenditure shall be made from a petty cash fund for any personal services, except for gratuities paid for the serving of food or drink.
LSA-R.S. 18:1505.5 provides in pertinent part as follows:
A. Except as provided in R.S. 18:1505.4, any person who knowingly and willfully violates any provision of R.S. 18:1505.2 or R.S. 18:1505.3 or any other provision of this Chapter shall be assessed a civil penalty for each violation. "Knowingly and willfully", for purposes of this Subsection, means conduct which could have been avoided through the exercise of due diligence.
B. The amount of such penalty shall be:
(2) Not in excess of three hundred dollars for any candidate for district office and any treasurer or chairman of any political committee designated as a principal campaign committee or subsidiary committee of such a candidate.
LSA-R.S. 18:1505.2E of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act prohibits candidates from paying persons in cash for personal services. On his election day expenditure (EDE-P) report filed on September 28, 2004, Mr. Willard reported making payments to seventy-six persons totaling $5,015 for campaign services. On his tenth day prior to the general election (10-G) campaign finance disclosure report filed on October 2, 2004, Mr. Willard reported a payment in the amount of $5,000 to Dominic Willard. The payments purpose was noted as “cash for election day workers.”
The Louisiana Board of Ethics is authorized to impose a penalty of up to $300 for each violation of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act. In this particular situation, 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 $2,500 civil penalty upon Elliot Willard for his violations of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act, with all but $1,250 suspended conditioned upon future compliance with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act.
IV.For the foregoing reasons:
DECREE AND ORDER
IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that the Board finds as a matter of fact and as a conclusion of law that Elliot Willard violated La. R.S. 1505.2E of the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act by paying cash to persons for services to his campaign.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that a civil penalty of $2,500, with all but $1,250 suspended conditioned upon on future compliance with the Campaign Finance Disclosure Act payable to the Treasurer of the State of Louisiana, be imposed upon Elliot Willard.
By Order of the Board this 11th day of August 2005.
s/Robert L. Roland s/Hank Perret
Robert L. Roland, Chairman Henry C. Perret, Jr., Vice-Chairman
Absent and did not participate. s/E. L. Guidry, Jr.
Judge John W. Greene Judge E.L. Guidry, Jr.
s/Gwendolyn P. Hamilton Absent and did not participate.
Gwendolyn P. Hamilton R. L. Hargrove, Jr.
s/Michael T. Johnson Absent and did not participate.
Michael T. Johnson Michael J. Kantrow, Sr.
s/Joseph Maselli s/Ascension Delgado Smith
Joseph Maselli Ascension Delgado Smith
Dr. Dolores Spikes
CONSENT The undersigned (a) stipulates to the facts found by the Board; (b) waives the procedural requirements contained in Sections 1141E; (c) admits that his conduct, as described above, violated La. R.S. 18:1505.2E; (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/Elliot Willard 4/27/05
Elliot Willard Date