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FWCS group fined $250 for late financial report

But it could have been more if not for confusion over law

Thursday, January 31, 2013 - 2:51 pm

A group that helped persuade voters to a $119 million building-improvement project for Fort Wayne Community Schools has been fined $250 for filing a late financial report. But it could have been much worse for the “REPAIR FWCS” political action committee if not for confusion over campaign-finance laws.

Because many PACs operate statewide, most file their reports in Indianapolis. As a result, the Allen County Election Board does not necessarily know when their paperwork is late, nor does it notify them within five days when a deadline is missed as required by law.

The FWCS PAC failed to file its pre-election form last October but the omission was not discovered until it submitted its annual 2012 report this month. PAC spokesman and former FWCS Board member John Peirce told the Election Board on Thursday that no report was filed in October because the vote was already over, having been held during the May primary.

The board could have fined the PAC up to $1,000 but levied $250 because it usually levies fines of $50 per day for such offenses and because the PAC was not notified after the five-day period that its filing was overdue.

The board Thursday also fined 19 current or former officeholders or candidates for failing to file their 2012 reports by the Jan. 16 deadline.