Court weighs several factors before issuing $26,000 in civil penalties to county commission candidate

Topic: Elections, Decided by: Judge Schroer 
Docket Number: 2408466 , Decision Date: November 22, 2023 
Attachment: Click here to download the decision. 

The State Ethics Commission alleged that an unsuccessful candidate for a Cobb County commissioner seat neglected to submit four campaign contribution disclosure reports, as mandated by Georgia campaign finance laws. Following a hearing—for which the candidate failed to appear—the Court ruled that the Ethics Commission had proven the violations and ordered the candidate to pay $26,000 in civil penalties from his personal funds.  In arriving at this amount, the Judge weighed several factors, including the fact that all four reports were due after the candidate’s primary loss, meaning he did not deprive the electors of information prior to the general election; the fact that a reported balance of $4,000 in public contributions has never been accounted for; and the candidate’s persistent failure to cooperate with the proceedings before the Ethics Commission and the Court.

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