Thursday, October 1, 2009

State Board of Elections takes “no action” on complaint against Delegate Onzlee Ware

Web DSC07994In a memo obtained from the State Board of Elections by a Freedom Of Information Act request the SBE recommended that “no further action be taken” on complaints lodged by Mark Powell against Virginia Delegate Onzlee Ware (D-11th District). The complaints by Powell were for alleged incomplete or erroneous information on campaign expenditure filings for 2009 and use of his campaign funds for personal use. Previous year filings were excluded. Powell served as campaign manager for Martin Jeffrey in the Democratic Primary held on June 9. Incumbent Ware prevailed in the contest.

The complaint by Powell pointed out that Ware had incomplete information on his filings for the expenditure of campaign funds. Specifically for incomplete addresses for expenses, a loan, and indicating “reimbursement” as description for goods and services provided. Powell also questioned expenditures that were construed to be for “personal use.”

In the memo sent by David Allen, Campaign Finance Manager to the board for their October 9 meeting Allen sites the Code of Virginia and campaign law with the associated complaint.

Ware was sent certified letters on June 10 and and July 22. Ware amended his reports making the corrections.

Regarding the allegation that Ware used campaign funds for “personal use” Allen points to the Code of Virginia that states that only upon a final report campaign funds can not be turned into funds for “personal use.”

Specifically saying:

… it is clear that prohibition against converting contributed campaign funds to personal use only applies to the closing of a campaign finance account. Therefore the Board has no statutory authority to refer complaints regarding personal use of campaign funds to any other officials for further investigation unless or until a candidate files a final report under § 24.2-948.4. 

Read the entire memo to the SBE – CLICK HERE.

In an email Allen stated:

“The complaints that were made by Mr. Powell were addressed by staff as they pertained to Title 24.2 – Chapter 9.3 of the Code of Virginia. I have said all along that the State Board of Elections can only address subject matter that is regulated by that Title and Chapter of the Code.”

James Hopper Senior Attorney General acts as advisor to the SBE. The communications and recommendations between the SBE and Hopper are protected under the attorney/client privilege.

Related articles:

 Virginia State’s Attorney Ponders Delegates Campaign Finances

Delegate Onzlee Ware Meets Deadline to Amend Campaign Filing

Del. Onzlee Ware Has 10 Days to Respond to the State Board of Elections

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Politics, State Politics

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