Illinois (ECWd) -
The State Board of Elections hearing judge in the Frank Mautino case has issued his findings and recommendations.
How is it possible for the Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to keep his office when we now have a finding from the hearing judge in his campaign spending scandal citing he has willfully violated the State Board of Elections order to amend the disclosure reports filed in 2014 and 2015? And never mind the fact he already pled the fifth in this case.
"The Respondent Committee willfully violated the Board's May 18, 2016, order vis-a-vis failing to amend the disclosure reports filed in 2014 and 2015 to a) reflect an accurate breakdown between gas and repair made to HSS, 2) identifying the actual recipient of each itemized expenditure made to HSS, as well as 3) identifying the specific purpose of any expenditures made to SVCB."
That the Board assess a fine consistent with 10 ILCS 5/9-10; 10 ILCS 5/9-23; 26 Ill. Adm. Code 125.425(e); 26 Ill. Adm. Code 125.425(d)(4)."
Mautino's attorney's dispute this claim with the assertion he is forbidden from "opening" his campaign to make such amendments.
Two other findings were that his failure to amend reports filed prior to 2014 was not a willful violation since those records had been destroyed pursuant to statute. A claim we have yet to validate is that the SBE gave Mautino permission to destroy those records. A FOIA has been submitted for a copy of any such authorization. The other finding was that since the campaign did not own any vehicles, there was no willful violation of the order seeking information regarding whether the committee owned or leased any vehicles.
"That since all the records prior to 2014 were destroyed pursuant to statute, the Respondent Committee has not willfully violated the Board's May 18, 2016, order vis-a-vis any disclosure reports filed prior to 2014;17."
"That since the Committee Treasurer has testified under oath that Respondent Committee did not own or lease any vehicles, the Committee has not willfully violated the Board's May 18, 2016, order seeking information regarding whether the Committee owned or leased any vehicles;"
One matter of interest is what appears to be an admission of improper reporting on expenditures to the Spring Valley Bank found on page 47.
"As pointed out previously, the records produced by Spring Valley City Bank are consistent with the expenditures reported by the Committee. Ms. Maunu reported the expenditures as being made to what she understood to be the vendor, the Spring Valley City Bank. Complainant argues that the Committee reported these expenditures incorrectly. While this may be true as to some of the reported expenditures, Ms. Maunu's unchallenged testimony is that she believed in good faith that she was following the requirements when she reported the expenditure to the vendor listed on each check, Spring Valley City Bank. Further, Ms. Maunu testified during her deposition that she was not aware of any time that the State Board of Elections contacted her to tell her there was anything wrong with the way she was reporting checks to Spring Valley City Bank."
Now we get to see what the State Board of Elections is going to do with these findings as it is up to them as a public body to determine the course of the complaint filed by David Cook. Being that this is Illinois, one of the most corrupt and political heavy-weight States in America, it would not surprise me to see a ruling that simply confirms he violated the campaign reporting law and give him a slap on the hand in the way of a few thousand dollar fine and he will continue serving as our Auditor General.
Their actions, in this case, will send a clear message for all future campaign reporting as little to no action on their part tells every politician in this state, do as you please as the most you will get is a slap on the hand....provided your politically connected.
The entire 51 page report can be viewed below or downloaded.