State officials have received campaign finance disclosure documents from three local candidates charged with election law violations stemming from their failure to file those forms when they were first due more than a year ago.
Atlantic City 2nd Ward Councilman Marty Small, former Weymouth Township Mayor Frank Craig and Egg Harbor Township Committee candidate Daniel Campbell faced charges over missing forms detailing fundraising and spending during the campaign leading up to the June 7, 2011 primary.
The state Election Law Enforcement Commission issued the charges Nov. 28 against the three Democrats. Since then, all of them have filed the documents, according to the ELEC website.
“Our main mission is to get people to file their reports,” ELEC Deputy Director Joseph Donahue said. “They can still face fines because they’re still very late, but you probably face stiffer fines if you don’t file at all.”
Ship Bottom Councilman Frank Malatino and Pleasantville City Councilman Ricky Cistrunk also face charges.
Cistrunk said Wednesday his paperwork is “in transit,” but that he didn’t raise any money during his campaign.
Malatino did not return calls seeking comment.
ELEC has not made decisions about fines. Donahue said he couldn’t say when that will happen because too many factors — including the agency’s workload and candidate cooperation — affect timing.
State law provides a 20-day window for candidates — in this instance, until Dec. 18 — to request an administrative hearing, which is rare in general and didn’t occur in any of the local 2011 primary cases, Donahue said.
“In most cases, they don’t because they’d have to hire and lawyer and that would be expensive. But that is their right ... to have administrative law judge review it,” Donahue said.
Campbell, who lost in the 2011 general election, said he didn’t raise any money and forgot to submit his paperwork when it was originally due more than a year ago. ELEC got the paperwork Dec. 24, the ELEC website shows.
Small and Craig said they sent their information on time in the first place. Small’s resubmittal was received Dec. 7 and Craig’s Dec. 14, according to the ELEC website.
Craig said he also filed his paperwork on time with Atlantic County Clerk Ed McGettigan. McGettigan confirmed that. Nothing was received from the other three, McGettigan said.
Technically, all candidates for elected official must file with both the county clerk and ELEC, McGettigan said.
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