LANCASTER – The Fair Political Practices Commission announced Monday that Lancaster council member Kenneth Mann agreed to a $3,500 fine for violating campaign fund restrictions in connection to his 2012 re-election campaign.
The FPPC stated in the agreement that Mann will pay a $3,500 administrative penalty for violating the Political Reform Act “by making an expenditure of campaign funds in the amount of $5,000, which conferred a substantial personal benefit on” the council member. [View the proposed stipulation, decision and order here.]
In their report, the FPPC said that the agreement resolves all “factual and legal issues raised in this matter and to reach a final disposition without the necessity of holding an administrative hearing to determine the liability of the Respondent.”
Following Mann’s successful re-election to the Lancaster City Council on April 10, 2012, the case was brought to the FPPC’s attention out of the Franchise Tax Board’s audit of Mann’s candidate-controlled committee, Re-elect Mann for City Council 2012.
The FPPC’s Enforcement Division investigated Mann’s alleged violation of the Political Reform Act following the tax board’s report that campaign contributions totaled $52,419, while expenditures totaled $24,021 for the period of July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2012, according to the report.
The FPPC provided only a generic description of the violation, saying, Mann “issued a check, payable to himself, in the amount of $5,000 on October 25, 2011, and deposited this check into his personal bank account. He stated that this money was intended as a personal loan, to pay for expenses that were not related to his campaign.”
The FPPC report goes on to state that “on December 21, 2011, almost two months later, [Mann] repaid the same amount to the campaign bank account. The expenditure and repayment were not disclosed on the semi-annual campaign statement filed for the period ending December 31, 2011.”
The commission will vote to approve the agreement at their next meeting.
According to Jay Alan Wierenga, communications director for the Fair Political Practices Commission, the fine is paid to the State General Fund and the “entire agreement is not final until the full Commission votes on whether to accept it at its next hearing,” on Thursday, March 19. “Generally speaking, the full Commission votes to accept most agreements,” Wierenga added.
A response from Mann was not received by Monday evening following several attempts to reach the council member.