Judges, Assemblymen among candidates who failed to file reports on time
September 26, 2002
Two district judges and several Assembly members are among those who either filed their first mandatory campaign report late or not at all.
The Secretary of State’s Office has sent letters to 31 candidates saying that, as of Sept. 18, they had built up fines totaling $1,275 apiece because they haven’t filed the statutorily required campaign contribution and expense reports. The fines continue to increase each day the reports are late and, as of Wednesday, were at $1,975.
Among the names on that list is Assemblyman Wendell Williams, D-North Las Vegas. Williams is a perennial recipient of the letters — normally missing at least one of the three in any election cycle. He still owes fines from the election two years ago and has not yet filed his final report from that contest.
Every candidate for public office in Nevada from governor to constable positions and board members of general improvement districts are required to file three separate reports with the Secretary of State’s Office so the sources of their contributions and how they were spent are available to the public for inspection. This series of letters is for the first of those reports this campaign season.
Candidates are informed of the requirements when they file for office and sign an acknowledgment stating that they understand the filing requirements. They are told they could be fined up to $5,000 for each of the three reports.
In addition to Williams, five other Assembly candidates failed to file the forms this election season.
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Another 33 candidates received letters recently because they filed campaign expense and contribution reports at least one day late. They received letters advising them they owe the state anywhere from $25 for one day to $525 for 14 days.
Assemblywoman Vonne Chowning, D-Las Vegas, was first to file a campaign report 14 days late and owes $525.
That list includes Neil Weaver, who is running for Carson City supervisor in Ward 3 and filed one day late, as well as eight Assembly candidates including Ways and Means Chairman Morse Arberry, D-North Las Vegas.
Also on the list are Clark County District Judge John McGroarty and Washoe District Judge Brent Adams. McGroarty filed Sept. 16 and owes a total fine of $1,075. Adams, who filed his report 10 days late, paid a fine of $325.
Secretary of State Dean Heller’s office sent out 19 notices to members of the Independent American Party who filed essentially blank reports saying they cannot be required to report campaign contributions and expenses because it would violate their Fifth Amendment rights. They were requested to fill out and sign the reports as is required by state law.
Each of them instead submitted a report form stamped: “I do hereby claim my rights against self-incrimination and must therefore decline to fill out this form and/or sign it under penalties of perjury.”
Eight of those candidates filed those incomplete forms one day late and were told they owe a $25 fine.