Candidates who didn’t report could face fines | NevadaAppeal.com

Candidates who didn’t report could face fines

The secretary of state and attorney general’s office have filed suit against three Southern Nevada candidates who failed to properly file campaign and expense reports in 2004.

All three men filed their first report, due in August before the primary election. None of them filed the other two reports required of every candidate from governor down to the smallest general improvement district.

Republican Assembly 27 candidate Ralph Vroman Jr. wrote to Secretary of State Dean Heller that he was not a candidate because he lost his primary election and, therefore, wasn’t required to file. Scott Ervin, also Republican, who ran in District 29, simply failed to file.

Heller, in letters to both candidates, informed them that they were advised when they filed for office they had to file all reports whether they won, lost in the primary or withdrew from their race. They signed affidavits when they filed, Vroman in District 27 and Ervin in District 29, stating they understood and would comply with that requirement.

The third candidate is Chris Rasmussen, a candidate for Clark County Justice of the Peace in the 2004 elections. He filed his October report 11 months late and his January report nine months late. He too tried to argue he didn’t have to file because he withdrew from the race.

“The withdrawal of a candidate did not remove the obligation to file contribution and expense reports,” Heller’s letter informed him.

The three lawsuits filed in Carson District Court demand $10,000 in fines from each of the former candidates plus court and legal expenses incurred by the state.

Under state law, a candidate is fined $25 a day for the first seven days each of three reports is late, $50 a day for the 8th through 15th day and $100 per day after that to a total of $5,000 in fines for each report.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.