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Guidelines for Staff Recommendations for Penalty Assessments for Certain Violations

2013 Citywide Elections

Introduction

The 2013 Penalty Guidelines will be used by the staff of the Campaign Finance Board (the “CFB” or “Board”) to make penalty recommendations for violations of the Campaign Finance Act (the “Act”) and Board Rules (the “Rules”) during the 2013 elections. See §3-711 of the New York City Administrative Code (the “Admin. Code”).

The guidelines provide baseline penalties for violations of the Act and Rules. CFB staff recommendations may depart from the baseline amounts if there are aggravating or mitigating circumstances or if the total amount of penalties is disproportionate to the size of the campaign.

The Board may assess penalties that are higher or lower than the staff’s recommendations. Candidates, their treasurers, and their campaign committees are jointly and severally liable for the payment of penalties. See Admin. Code §3-711(1).

Prior to the assessment of penalties, campaigns will receive a Penalty Notice to which they will have the opportunity to respond in writing as well as in person either before the Board or before an administrative law judge (“ALJ”). If a campaign chooses to appear before an ALJ, the ALJ will hear the case and then transmit a report to the Board containing findings of fact along with a recommended penalty determination. The campaign and CFB staff will then have the opportunity to submit a written response to the ALJ’s report. After considering the ALJ’s report and the entire written record of the case (as well as any additional testimony the Board may, in its discretion, request), the Board will issue a final penalty determination which may or may not follow the ALJ’s findings and recommendations.

Similarly, prior to final public funds determinations, CFB staff will send a notice detailing the staff’s recommendations for payment, non-payment, or repayment of public funds. The process for responding to a Public Funds Notice is very similar to the process for responding to a Penalty Notice and will take place simultaneously — campaigns will have the opportunity to respond in writing and to appear before the Board or an ALJ prior to the Board’s final public funds determination.

A campaign’s final audit report (“FAR”) will be sent after the Board makes penalty and public funds determinations, if any.

Calculation of Staff Penalty Recommendations

While the CFB expects the baseline penalties to be appropriate in most cases, CFB staff may increase or decrease the amount of a recommended penalty — or recommend no penalty at all — if warranted based on aggravating or mitigating circumstances. CFB staff may also lower recommended penalties if applying the baseline amounts would result in total or individual penalties disproportionate to the size of the campaign.

No penalties will be recommended or assessed for a violation that is cured by the campaign prior to receiving notice of the violation from the CFB.

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

The CFB staff’s recommendations will depart from the baseline amounts only in unusual circumstances. The baseline amounts reflect the CFB’s presumption that noncompliance is unintentional. Candidates and their treasurers are ultimately responsible for complying with the Act and Rules, and the particular reasons why a given violation occurred generally are not relevant to the recommendation or assessment of penalties.

CFB staff may recommend a penalty above the baseline amount if the violation appears to have been willful or the result of reckless disregard for the Act and Rules. In the most egregious circumstances, CFB staff may recommend a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation, the statutory maximum for most violations, and/or recommend a finding of breach of certification which would require the return of all public funds received. See Admin. Code §3-711; Board Rule 2-02.

CFB staff may recommend a penalty below the baseline amount — or no penalty at all — in the case of a violation that was the result of specific efforts to avoid a violation, for instance where a transaction was misreported as a result of an effort to fix a previous reporting error.

Penalties Disproportionate to the Size of the Campaign

CFB staff may recommend a reduction in the amount of a particular penalty or in the total amount of penalties if application of the baseline amounts would result in penalties disproportionate to the size of the campaign. This reduction will not apply to allegations of noncompliance involving fraud, misrepresentation, converting campaign funds to a personal use, unreported coordinated expenditures, or exceeding the expenditure limit, or violations resulting from willful noncompliance (such as failure to respond to the Draft Audit Report or other requests for audit documentation) or reckless disregard for the Act and Rules.

Infraction Policy

The Board will characterize certain limited, non-repetitive contribution and disclosure statement violations as “infractions.” See Admin. Code §3-710.5; Board Rule 7-01(a)(ii). CFB staff generally will not recommend a monetary penalty for infractions. If the campaign has additional violations (i.e., violations not related to prohibited or over-the-limit contributions or late disclosure statements), the recommended penalties for which total more than $1,000, the campaign will not be eligible for the Infraction Policy for any of the violations.

To be eligible for the infraction policy, a campaign may have no more than three impermissible contributions and one late disclosure statement as described below:

Contribution Infractions

Infractions may include acceptance of no more than a total of three of the following impermissible contributions:

  • contributions from corporations, LLCs, and partnerships no greater than $250 which were returned promptly after Board notification;
  • contributions from unregistered political committees no greater than $250 which were returned promptly after Board notification; and
  • over-the-limit contributions, no more than $500 above the applicable contribution limit, if the over-the-limit portions of the contributions were returned promptly after Board notification.

A contribution will be considered to have been “returned promptly” if the contribution or over-the-limit portion is returned to the contributor by the deadline indicated by the Board in its first notification regarding the impermissible contribution. (Contributions over the “doing business” limit are not eligible for the infraction policy; the acceptance of an over-the-limit doing business contribution is not a violation unless the campaign fails to return the over-the-limit portion of the contribution within 20 days of notification by CFB staff.)

The Infraction Policy will cover only three contributions in the above categories combined. See Board Rule 7-01(a)(ii)(1). So, for example, if a candidate for City Council member accepts two corporate and two over-the-limit contributions, the campaign will not be eligible for the Infraction Policy and all four contributions will be penalized as violations.

Disclosure Statement Infractions

A single late disclosure statement — but no more than 10 days late — may be considered an infraction. See Board Rule 7-01(a)(ii)(2).

Contribution Infractions and Public Funds Eligibility

If CFB staff identifies an impermissible contribution prior to the election, public funds will be suspended until the prohibited contribution (or over-the-limit portion of the contribution) is returned to the contributor — whether or not the violation could potentially be considered an infraction.

Baseline Penalties

  1. Contribution Violations
    1. Accepting Contributions from Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, or Partnerships. Campaigns may not accept, either directly or by transfer, a campaign contribution* or loan, or guarantee or other security for such loan, from any corporation, limited liability company (LLC), or partnership. See N.Y.C. Charter §1052(a)(13); Admin. Code §3-702(8), §3-703(l)(l), §3-719(2)(b); Board Rules 1-04(c)(l), (e), (g), 1-05.

      If Not Returned Following Notification from CFB If Return Following Notification from CFB was Not Prompt If Returned Promptly Following Notification from CFB
      Amount of contribution plus $250 $50 plus the amount of the contribution, or $250, whichever is smaller The amount of the contribution or $125, whichever is smaller

      * Includes both monetary and in-kind contributions.

      The maximum penalty that may be assessed for accepting a prohibited contribution pursuant to Admin. Code § 3-711 is $10,000.

      Return will not be considered “prompt” if the contribution is not returned by the deadline indicated in the CFB’s notification regarding the contribution.

    2. Accepting Contributions from Unregistered Political Committees. Campaigns may not accept a contribution* from a political committee unless the political committee is registered with the CFB or registers with the CFB within 10 days of receipt of the contribution (participants and limited participants only). See Admin. Code §3-702(11), §3-703(l)(k), §3-707; Board Rules 1-04(c)(l), (d), (g), 1-05.

      If Not Returned Following Notification from CFB and Committee Not Subsequently Registered If Return (or Registration of Committee) Following Notification from CFB is Not Prompt If Promptly Returned or Committee Promptly Registered Following Notification from CFB
      Amount of contribution plus $250 $50 plus the amount of the contribution, or $250, whichever is smaller The amount of the contribution or $125, whichever is smaller

      * Includes monetary and in-kind contributions.

      The maximum penalty that may be assessed for accepting a contribution from an unregistered political committee pursuant to Admin. Code §3-711 is $10,000.

      Return or registration will not be considered “prompt” if the contribution is not returned or if the political committee does not register by the deadline indicated in the CFB’s notification regarding the contribution.

    3. Accepting Over-The-Limit Contributions. Campaigns are prohibited from accepting contributions* in excess of the applicable contribution limit. See Admin. Code §3-702(8), §§3-703(l)(f), (11), 3-719(2); Board Rules 1-04(c)(1), (h), 1-07(c). In addition, campaigns may not accept contributions in excess of the “doing business” contribution limits from individuals or entities that have business dealings with the City: $250 (for candidates for City Council); $320 (for candidates for Borough President); and $400 (for candidates for Public Advocate, Comptroller, and Mayor). See Admin. Code §§3-702(8), (18), (20), §§3-703 (1-a), (1-b), §3-719(2); Board Rules 1-04(c)(1), (h).

      Overage Amount Up to $3,000 $3,001 – $6,000 $6,001 – $10,000 $10,001 or more
      Penalty if Overage is Not Returned Following Notification from CFB Overage plus $350 Overage plus $750 Overage plus $1,500 $10,000
      Penalty if Return of Overage Following Notification from CFB is Not Prompt $250 $500 $1,000 15% of overage
      Penalty if Overage is Returned Promptly Following Notification from CFB Lesser of $50 plus amount of overage, or $125 $250 $500 5% of overage

      * Includes monetary and in-kind contributions, loans outstanding on the date of the election, post-election loans, forgiven loans, and advances.

      The maximum penalty that may be assessed for accepting an over-the-limit contribution pursuant to Admin. Code §3-711 is $10,000.

      Return will not be considered “prompt” if the overage is not returned by the deadline indicated in the CFB’s notification regarding the over-the-limit contribution.

      Doing Business Contributions. The baseline penalties for failing to return contributions that exceed the “doing business” contribution limits are the “not returned” or “return not prompt” amounts, as applicable, because doing business contributions that are returned promptly are not violations.

  2. Disclosure Statement Violations
    1. Filing Late Disclosure Statements. Campaigns are required to file complete and timely disclosure statements on scheduled dates. See N.Y.C. Charter §1052(a)(8); Admin. Code §§3-703(6), (12), §3-708(8), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-09, 3-02.

        City Council Borough President Public Advocate, Comptroller Mayor
      Daily Penalty $50 $75 $100 $200
    2. Failing to File Disclosure Statements. Campaigns are required to file complete and timely disclosure statements on scheduled dates. See N.Y.C. Charter §1052(a)(8); Admin. Code §§3-703(6), (12), §3-708(8), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-09, 3-02.

        City Council Borough President Public Advocate, Comptroller Mayor
      Penalty $750 $1,125 $1,500 $3,000

      A statement that is not filed by the due date of the next statement is considered a “failure to file.” If the January 15 statement due in the year after the election (i.e., the last statement for the election) is not filed within 30 days, it will be considered a “failure to file.”

    3. Failing to File/Late Filing of Daily Pre-Election Disclosure Statements. Aggregate contributions and loans from a single source in excess of $1,000, and aggregate expenditures in excess of $20,000, received or made within 14 days of an election, must be disclosed to the Board within 24 hours. See Admin. Code §§3-703(6), (12), §3-708(8), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-09, 3-02(e).

      Penalty Based on Number of Transactions, by Office
      Number of Unreported Transactions City Council Borough President Public Advocate, Comptroller Mayor
      1 -5 $100 $150 $200 $250
      6 – 10 $150 $200 $250 $300
      11 – 20 $200 $250 $300 $350
      21 or more $500 $1,000 $1,500 $2,000

      The baseline penalties for the late filing of daily pre-election disclosure statements will be 25% of the amount of the above baselines for failing to file.

  3. Reporting and Documentation Violations
    1. Failing to Demonstrate Compliance with Reporting Requirements for Receipts or Disbursements. Campaigns are required to demonstrate compliance with the reporting requirements and are required to provide bank records, including bank statements and deposit slips. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), (12), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-09, 3-03(c), (d), (e), 4-01.

      Amount Raised or Spent
      Percentage of Under – or Over – Reporting of Receipts or Disbursements Up to $50K Over $50K to $150K Over $150K to $300K Over $300K
      4% – 5.9% No action No action $250 $500
      6% – 7.9% No action $250 $500 $1,000
      8% – 19.9% $250 $500 $1,000 $2,000
      20% – 50% $500 $1,000 $2,000 $4,000
      More than 50% $1,000 $2,000 $4,000 $10,000
    2. Failing to Report Transactions. Campaigns are required to properly report all financial transactions to the Board. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), (12), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-09, 3-03(c), (d), (e), 4-01.

      The baseline penalty for failing to report transactions is 5% of the amount of the transactions.

    3. Failing to Document Transactions. Campaigns are required to document all transactions, including loans, in-kind contributions, and joint expenditures. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (11), (12), §3-715, §3-719(1)(b); Board Rules 1-09, 4-01, (c), (g), (k), 4-03.

      The baseline penalty for this violation is the greater of 2% of the amount of the expenditures or $100.

    4. Failing to Report and Document Basic Campaign Functions/Activities. Campaigns are required to report and document all financial transactions, including basic categories of expenditures such as postage, printing, rent, and petitioning. See Admin. Code §3-702(8), §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), (12), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-02, 1-04(g), 1-08(a), (b), (c), (h), 1-09, 3-02, 3-03(e), 4-01.

      The baseline penalty for this violation is $500 per category of expenditure that was not reported or documented.

    5. Failing to Demonstrate Compliance with Cash Receipts Reporting and Documentation Requirements. Campaigns are required to report all cash receipts, deposit them into the bank account listed on the candidate’s filer registration and/or certification, and provide the deposit slips for the account to the Board. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (10), (11), (12), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-04(a), (b), 2-06(a), 3-03(c), 4-01(a), (b)(1), (3), (f).

      The baseline penalty is 25% of the amount of the difference between the amount reported and the amount received.

    6. Failing to Document Outstanding Liabilities. Campaigns are required to provide documentation for outstanding liabilities upon Board request. See Admin. Code §3-702(8), §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), 3-719(1); Board Rules 1-04(g)(4)-(7), 1-09, 4-01(c), (d), (l).

      Amount *
      $3,001 – $6,000 $6,001 – $10,000 $10,001 or more
      $500 $1,000 15% of the amount of the liability

      * Refers to the amount by which the liabilities exceed the contribution limit.

    7. Failing to Provide Bank/Merchant Account Statements. Campaigns are required to provide copies of all bank and merchant account statements for accounts used for each election. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (11), §3-719(1); Board Rule 4-01(f).

      The baseline penalty for failing to provide bank statements or merchant account statements is $250 per statement.

    8. Failing to Demonstrate Compliance with Intermediary Reporting and Documentation Requirements. Campaigns are required to report the intermediary for each contribution that was delivered or solicited by an intermediary. In addition, campaigns are required to provide a signed intermediary affirmation statement for each intermediated contribution. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), §3-719(1); Board Rules 3-03(c)(7), 4-01(b)(5).

      The baseline penalty for failing to report and/or document intermediaries is $100 per intermediary. If the campaign was cited for suspected intermediaries in the draft audit report but did not respond adequately to the finding, the penalty is $100 per suspected intermediary.

    9. Failing to Demonstrate Compliance with Subcontractor Reporting and Documentation Requirements. If a campaign makes an expenditure to a vendor that relied on subcontractors to provide the goods or services to the campaign, and the cost of the subcontracted goods or services provided by a single subcontractor exceeds $5,000, the campaign must report, in addition to the expenditure, the name and address of the subcontractor, the amount(s) of the expenditure(s) to the subcontractor, and the purpose(s) of the subcontracting. The candidate must also obtain and maintain documentation from each vendor that used subcontractors. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), §3-719(1); Board Rules 3-03(e)(3), 4-01(h).

      The baseline penalty for failing to demonstrate compliance with subcontractor reporting and documentation requirements is $50 per violation for campaigns that did not receive public funds and $100 per violation for campaigns that received public funds.

    10. Failing to Report Employment Information for Contributions in Excess of $99. Campaigns are required to report the occupation, employer, and business address of each contributor whose total contributions exceed $99. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), §3-719(1); Board Rules 3-03(c)(1), (6).

      Greater of Amount Raised or Spent
      Percentage of contributions over $99 for which required employment information was not reported Less than $50K $50K to $150K $150K to $300K Over $300K
      25% – 50% of contributions $200 $300 $400 $500
      51% – 75% of contributions $400 $600 $800 $1,000
      76% or more of contributions $800 $1,200 $1,600 $2,000
  4. Expenditure Violations
    1. Exceeding the Expenditure Limit. Candidates who participate in the Campaign Finance Program may not spend in excess of the expenditure limits. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(i), (11), §3-706, §3-711(2)(a); Board Rules 1-08(c), (d), (l), 7-05(b).

      Percentage over the expenditure limit Adjustment to Baseline Penalty
      Spent less than 2.5% over the limit Penalty is the amount spent over the limit
      Spent 2.5% – 4.9% over the limit Penalty increases to 1.5 times amount spent over the limit
      Spent 5% – 9.9% over the limit Penalty increases to 2 times amount spent over the limit
      Spent 10% – 14.9% over the limit Penalty increases to 2.5 times amount spent over the limit
      Spent 15% or more over the limit Penalty increases to 3 times amount spent over the limit (maximum by law)
    2. Converting Campaign Funds to a Personal Use. Campaigns are prohibited from converting campaign funds to a personal use. See Admin. Code §3-702(21)(b); Board Rules 1-03(a), 2-02.

      The Board may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation and require the candidate to return all public funds previously received pursuant to a finding of breach of certification.

    3. Failing to Demonstrate that Spending was in Furtherance of the Campaign. Campaigns are required to demonstrate that all spending was in furtherance of the campaign. See Admin. Code §§3-702(21)(a), (b); §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11); Board Rules 1-03(a), 4-01(e).

      The baseline for this violation is the greater of $100 or 25% of the amount of transactions at issue.

    4. Making Impermissible Post-Election Expenditures. After an election and before repaying leftover campaign funds to the Board, participants may spend campaign funds only to pay campaign-related expenses incurred in the preceding election and for “routine activities involving nominal cost associated with winding up a campaign and responding to the post-election audit.” See Admin. Code §3-702(21)(a)(8), §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), §3-710(2)(c); Board Rules 1-03(a), 1-08(b), 5-03(e)(2).

      The baseline for this violation is the greater of $100 or 25% of the amount of transactions at issue.

    5. Making Cash Expenditures Greater than $100. Campaigns are prohibited from making an expenditure greater than $100 using cash. See Board Rules 1-08(i) and 4-01(e)(2).

        Baseline Penalty
      1 – 3 impermissible cash expenditures, each less than $150 Violation No Penalty (VNP)
      Any impermissible cash expenditure(s) not eligible for VNP The greater of $50 or 10% of the value of the expenditures

      If the campaign either has more than three impermissible cash expenditures, or has at least one impermissible cash expenditure in excess of $150, all of the campaign’s impermissible cash expenditures are subject to the $50/10% baseline.

    6. Using Government Resources in Furtherance of the Campaign. Pursuant to section 1136.1(2)(b) of the New York City Charter, candidates who are elected officials or other public servants are prohibited from using government resources to send a mass mailing within 90 days of the election, with certain exceptions.

      The baseline penalty for this violation is the greater of $100 (candidates for City Council), $200 (candidates for Borough President), or $500 (candidates for Public Advocate, Comptroller, and Mayor), or 10% of the amount of the spending.

    7. Failing to Disclose a Political Committee Used in Furtherance of the Campaign. Campaigns are required to disclose to the Board the existence of all political committees that were active during the covered election. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (e), (g), (6), (11), (12), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-08(c), 1-11, 2-01, 4-01.

      The baseline penalty will be the greater of 2% of the amount spent by the undisclosed committee or $100.

  5. Bank Account, Petty Cash Fund, And Untimely Deposit Violations
    1. Failing to Maintain a Separate Campaign Bank Account; Failing to Report a Bank Account Used for Campaign Purposes; Commingling Campaign Funds with Personal or Business Funds and/or Funds Accepted for a Different Election. Campaigns are required to establish and maintain a separate campaign bank account and to report all bank, merchant, and depository accounts used for campaign purposes. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(c), (d), (g), (6), (11), 3-719(1); Board Rules 1-11(d), 2-06, 4-01(f). Campaigns are prohibited from commingling campaign funds with personal or business funds or funds accepted for another election. See Board Rules 2-06(b), (e).

      The baseline penalty for failing to maintain a separate bank account, failing to report a bank account that was used for campaign purposes, or commingling campaign funds with personal or business funds and/or funds accepted for a different election, is $250. However, the Board may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 for this violation.

    2. Maintaining a Petty Cash Fund Greater than $500. Campaigns are prohibited from maintaining more than $500 in a petty cash fund. See Admin. Code Board Rule 4-01(e)(2).

        Baseline Penalty
      1 – 3 instances of a petty cash fund in excess of $500, none greater than $750 Violation No Penalty (VNP)
      Any impermissible instance of maintaining a petty cash fund not eligible for VNP The greater of $50 or 10% of the value of the impermissible portion of the fund

      If the campaign either has more than three violations, or has at least one violation greater than $750, each violation will be subject to the $50/10% baseline.

    3. Failing to Timely Deposit Campaign Contributions. Monetary contributions must be accepted and deposited, or rejected and returned to the contributor, within 10 business days after receipt, except that contributions by check to City Council candidates received more than one year before a covered election must be accepted and deposited, or rejected and returned to the contributor, within 20 business days after receipt. See Admin. Code § 3-703(10); Board Rule 1-04(b).

      The baseline penalty for failing to timely deposit contributions is 10% of the amount that was not timely deposited.

  6. Failing to Respond/Late Response to Audit Documentation and Information Requests (Initial Documentation Request, Draft Audit Report, Other Requests)

    Campaigns are required to maintain records, such as copies of checks, invoices, and bank records, to verify financial transactions reported in disclosure statements, and campaigns are required to provide such records to the Board upon request and to respond to specific questions regarding compliance with the Act and Rules. See Admin. Code §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), (12), §3-708(5), §3-710(1), 3-719(1)(b); Board Rules 1-09(a), 4-01, 4-05(a). Candidates who fail to respond to the Draft Audit Report may be subject to a penalty of up to 10% of total public funds received. See Admin. Code §3-711(2)(b).

      Public Funds Received? Late Response Failure to Respond
    Post-Election Request for Audit Documentation: “Initial Documentation Request” or “IDR” Yes $50 per day late, up to the greater of 2% of public funds received or $500 Greater of 10% of public funds received (up to $10,000) or $1,000
    No $50 per day late, up to the greater of 0.2% of aggregate contributions or expenditures or $250 Greater of 1% of aggregate contributions or expenditures (up to $10,000) or $500
    Draft Audit Report or “DAR” Yes $50 per day late, up to the greater of 2% of public funds received or $500 Greater of 10% of public funds received or $1,000
    No $50 per day late, up to the greater of 0.2% of aggregate contributions or expenditures or $250 Greater of 1% of aggregate contributions or expenditures (up to $10,000) or $500
    Other Specific Requests for Information and Documentation Receipt of public funds does not affect penalty $50 per day late, up to the greater of 0.2% of aggregate contributions or expenditures or $100 Greater of 1% of aggregate contributions or expenditures (up to $10,000) or $250
  7. Failing to Report Coordinated Expenditures; Violating the Contribution Limit, the Expenditure Limit, and/or Accepting In-Kind Contributions from Prohibited Sources as a Result of Coordinated Expenditures

    Cooperation in nominally independent expenditures is potentially one of the most serious violations of the Campaign Finance Act and the Board’s Rules. The Board may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation and/or require the candidate to return all public funds previously received pursuant to a finding of breach of certification. See Admin. Code §3-711; Board Rule 2-02. If the campaign also violated the expenditure limit, the Board may assess a separate penalty for that violation in an amount up to three times the amount by which the campaign exceeded the limit.

    The following are considered to constitute a “fundamental breach of the obligations affirmed and accepted by the participant or limited participant in the certification”:

    “(c) cooperation in alleged independent expenditures, whereby material or activity that directly or indirectly assists or benefits a participant’s or limited participant’s nomination or election, which is purported to be paid by independent expenditures, was in fact authorized, requested, suggested, fostered, or cooperated in by the participant or limited participant;

    (d) use of a political committee or other entity over which a participant or limited participant exercises authority to conceal from the Board expenditures that directly or indirectly assist or benefit the participant’s or limited participant’s nomination or election;…”

    Board Rule 2-02.

    See also, Admin. Code §3-702(8), §§3-703(l)(d), (g), (6), (11), §3-719(1); Board Rules 1-04(g), 1-08(f), 3-03, 4-01(c).

  8. Material Misrepresentation; Fraud

    The Board may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. The Board may also require the candidate to return all public funds previously received pursuant to a finding of breach of certification.

    “The intentional or knowing furnishing of any false or fictitious evidence, books or information to the board…or the inclusion in any evidence, books, or information so furnished of a misrepresentation of a material fact, or the falsifying or concealment of any evidence, books, or information relevant to any audit by the board or the intentional or knowing violation of any other provision of this chapter shall be punishable as a class A misdemeanor in addition to any other penalty as may be provided under law….” Admin. Code §3-711(3).

    The following are considered to constitute a “fundamental breach of the obligations affirmed and accepted by the participant or limited participant in the certification”:

    “(a) submission of a disclosure statement which the participant knew or should have known includes substantial fraudulent matchable contribution claims;

    (b) use of public funds to make or reimburse substantial campaign expenditures which the participant knew or should have known were fraudulent;

    ***

    (e) submission of substantial information which the participant or limited participant knew or should have known was false, or the submission of substantial documentation which the participant or limited participant knew or should have known was fabricated or falsified, which would avoid a finding of violation or public funds repayment determination.”

    Board Rule 2-02.

  9. Failing to Attend a Mandatory Training

    The candidate, campaign manager, treasurer, or another person with significant managerial control over the campaign must attend a training provided by the Board on compliance and the use of C-Smart software, by the deadline set by the Board. (Participants and Limited Participants only) See Admin. Code §3-703(15); Board Rule 2-12(a).

    The baseline penalty for this violation is $500.

  10. Failing To Attend A Mandatory Debate

    Participating and Limited Participating candidates for Mayor, Comptroller, and Public Advocate are required to participate in debates held pursuant to Admin. Code §3-709.5. In addition to civil penalties, a candidate who fails to participate in a required debate shall be liable for the return of any public funds previously received and shall be ineligible to receive additional public funds for the current election unless the Board determines that the failure to debate occurred under circumstances beyond the control of the candidate. See Admin. Code §3-709.5(9), (10).

    The baseline penalty for failing to participate in a debate is the greater of $1,000 or 1% of aggregate contributions, up to a maximum of $10,000.

  11. Violations Related to Transition And Inaugural Entities (“TIEs”)

    The Board is authorized to assess penalties against candidates for violations of the TIE requirements regardless whether the candidates participated in the Program. See Admin. Code §3-801(8), 3-802.

    1. Receiving or Spending Funds Prior to Registration of a TIE.

      If a candidate accepts contributions or makes expenditures for the candidate’s transition or inauguration before he or she registers a TIE with the Board, the baseline penalty is $100. See Admin. Code §§3-801(1), (2), (3); Board Rules 11-02(a), 11-04(a), (b).

    2. Late Filing of Periodic Disclosure Reports.

      The baseline penalties for the late filing of periodic disclosure reports are the same as for the late filing of disclosure statements. See Admin. Code §§3-801(5), (6); Board Rules 11-03(a), (b), (c).

    3. Failing to File Periodic Disclosure Reports.

      The baseline penalties for failing to file periodic disclosure reports are the same as for failing to file disclosure statements. See Admin. Code §§3-801(5), (6); Board Rules 11-03(a), (b), (c).

    4. Accepting an Over-the-Limit Donation.

      The baseline penalties for this violation are the same as for the acceptance of over-the-limit contributions. See Admin. Code 3-801(2)(b), (4); Board Rules 11-04(b), (c), (d).

    5. Improper Use of TIE Funds.

      The baseline penalty shall be $100 per instance for each of (i) using TIE funds for any purpose other than the candidate’s transition or inauguration into office, (ii) incurring liabilities after January 31 in the year following the election, and (iii) accepting donations after all liabilities have been extinguished. See Admin. Code §§3-801(1), (2)(c), (6), (7); Board Rules 11-04(a), (b), (e), (f).

      Staff may increase or decrease the recommended penalty based on the nature of the violation, from VNP to $10,000. See Admin. Code §3-802(l).

    6. Transition or Inaugural Spending Other than by a TIE.

      The baseline penalty for this violation is $200. See Admin. Code §3-801(2)(a); Board Rules 11-02, 11-04(a).

    7. Accepting Prohibited Donations.

      The baseline penalty for this violation shall be the same as for acceptance of prohibited contributions. In addition to a ban on contributions from corporations, LLCs, and partnerships, TIEs are prohibited from accepting contributions from persons doing business with the City unless the contributor is the candidate or a close family member of the candidate. See Admin. Code §3-801(2)(d); Board Rule 11-04(b).