Ethics: April 28

PRESS RELEASE

 

$10,265 in Penalties Imposed by the Connecticut Office of State Ethics for Lobbyist Filing Violations

 

April 28, 2008

 

The Citizen’s Ethics Advisory Board (CEAB) of the Connecticut Office of State Ethics, at its April 24, 2008 regular meeting, issued final decisions resulting in civil penalties totaling $10,265 for delinquent filings by three lobbyists.  The decisions followed hearings on April 2, 2008 before a single member of the CEAB who served as hearing officer.

 

Specifically:

 

·    Lobbyist Maria Cahill failed to timely file a mandatory report between January 1 – January 10, 2008 containing the amount of compensation and reimbursement received from her employer during the previous year, in violation of the reporting obligation found in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-96 (b).  A civil penalty of $430 was imposed, reflecting the maximum fine of $10 per day for each of the 43 days the form was delinquent.

 

·    The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, Inc. failed to file a timely registration with the OSE prior to engaging in lobbying activities in 2007, and filed all of its required 2007 quarterly reports late.  Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-94 requires a lobbyist to register with the OSE if s/he makes expenditures of $2,000 or more for lobbying in a calendar year.  Conn. Gen. Stat. § 1-95 requires such registration prior to January 15 of odd-numbered years or prior to the commencement of lobbying, whichever is later.  Finally, § 1-96 (a) provides a quarterly reporting requirement.  Combined, the civil penalties for the late registration and quarterly filings totaled $4,810, representing a penalty of $5 per day for each day that each form was late.  In imposing only half of the maximum penalty, the CEAB noted that the facts and circumstances of the case made a reduced penalty appropriate.

 

·    Similarly, the Connecticut Assisted Living Association failed to timely register and file quarterly reports in accordance with the statutory requirements cited above.  The resulting civil penalty of $5,025 was imposed, representing $5 per day for each day that each form was late.  In imposing only half of the maximum penalty, the CEAB noted testimony at the hearing that the late filing was not intentional and that the non-profit association had only a limited lobbying budget.  The CEAB found that maximum penalties would cause a financial hardship on the association.

 

“Businesses engaged in lobbying must timely register and properly disclose their financial activities on reports with the OSE,” said OSE Executive Director Carol Carson.  “Not only is it the law, it is necessary for openness and transparency in good government.”

 

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Contact:  Meredith Trimble, OSE Director of Education,

860-566-4472 x425; Meredith.trimble@ct.gov.



Content Last Modified on 4/28/2008 9:26:43 AM