Wall appeals campaign fines
Sheriff says finance issues a result of confusion with new law
September 15, 2010
Steamboat Springs — The Colorado Secretary of State's Office hit Routt County Sheriff Gary Wall with two fines in late August for failing to report major campaign contributions in a new electronic reporting format. Wall has appealed both fines.
Wall said the fines stemmed from a $1,000 check his campaign reported in a regularly scheduled filing. Under new regulations, candidates must notify the Secretary of State about donations of $1,000 or more in a separate report within a day of the donation, Wall said.
"My committee didn't know about that, so it was when it was time to do the filing, (we did it) the normal way," he said.
Wall's campaign also incorrectly listed the date of the check. When they went to change it, another fine was automatically generated, he said.
He has appealed the fines, for $600 and $750, and should know the results within 45 days. He said he's confident the fines will be reduced or waived. If they aren't, Wall said he would pay the fines.
According to finance reports, Wall received donations of $1,000 each from Lyman Fancher and James Mitchell on Aug. 10.
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His opponent in the sheriff's race, Garrett Wiggins, has filed two "major contributor reports," according to the Secretary of State's Office. Wiggins said he has a treasurer filing the reports for him, but he has not run into any problems with the electronic filing system or new procedures.
Wall ran into trouble during the last election and was cited twice for failing to file reports in a timely manner. Routt County Clerk Kay Weinland said she waived one fine against Wall in the 2006 election cycle but on the second offense fined him $2,425. Wall paid that fine, she said, after his challenge was denied.
All campaign finance filings were changed to electronic filings with the Secretary of State instead of the local clerk Jan. 1, Weinland said.
According to the latest finance filings, due Sept. 9, Wall raised $7,665 from Aug. 2 to Sept. 4. He also spent $3,126.09 during that time. Wiggins raised $7,185 and spent $2,093.99 during the same time period.
Adding in the candidate's balance going into the month, Wall was left with $4,864.59 at the end of the month compared with Wiggins' $10,308.93.
Oct. 4 is the final day for voters to register for the election. Ballots will be sent out between Oct. 12 and 16.