Firestone admin hit with campaign fine says city made a mistake, not him – Greeley Tribune
After being fined $250 for failing to file a campaign finance report, Firestone Administrator Matt Holcomb filed his own lawsuit against the city.
“I think what happened was they made a mistake in interpreting campaign finance law, but they’ve already gone down that road,” Holcomb said Wednesday. “I don’t make much of it, I’m just saying…read your campaign materials.”
Holcomb, who received 958 votes, the most of any candidate in the April 5 ballot, said he had never received campaign contributions or incurred campaign-related expenses and reported it three times to the City Clerk “on or about” March 15, April 2 and April 6.
“I was just zero, zero, zero,” Holcomb said of his campaign finance reports.
Candidates had until March 15, April 2 and May 5 to file their first, second and third rounds of campaign finance returns. Holcomb said he filed his third report on April 6, instead of moving closer to the May 5 deadline because the election was already over.
“I’m concerned about…my reputation when I’ve tried so hard to tell my constituents, yes, I’m not taking contributions and I’m not going to spend anything because I don’t like money in politics,” he said. said Holcomb. “I thought I complied with whatever they asked.”
According to the Colorado Secretary of State’s website, freelance candidates such as Holcomb — who fund their own campaigns and accept no contributions — “are required to file disclosure reports for the reporting periods in which they perform spending”.
Specifically, expenses of $20 or more must be itemized, according to the rules.
“Candidates who incur no expenditures are not required to file disclosure reports but are encouraged to file reports in the interest of full public disclosure,” the secretary of state’s website said.
On May 10, Firestone City Clerk Jessica Koenig notified Holcomb that she was imposing a $250 penalty on her for not submitting her third and final Campaign Contributions and Expenses Report by the May 5 deadline. may.
State law requires a designated election official, in this case Koenig, to impose a penalty of $50 per day until a candidate files the required disclosure forms.
After being told of his $250 fine, Holcomb said he immediately paid it, not to accept fault but to “stop the bleeding.”
Holcomb maintained that he never accepted or spent any money during the campaign and as such was not required to report anything, but did so anyway out of concern for transparency.
On May 20, Holcomb filed her own complaint with the city clerk, alleging that she had made an improper decision in imposing the fine.
In his official response to Holcomb on June 6, Koenig said the penalty was imposed “in accordance with the law” and that Holcomb “did not assert” that he was a stand-alone candidate until May 20.
“It … didn’t make sense to me,” Holcomb said, wondering what the city thought his bid was before May 20 if it wasn’t a standalone bid.
Holcomb said he would speak with a “potential attorney” to see if there was a “reasonable option” to move forward on the matter.
In an email Wednesday, Koenig said that Holcomb was a sitting director and one of her supervisors, it would be “inappropriate” for her to comment on the matter.