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NEW: Providence City Councilman Files Past Due Campaign Finance Report

Friday, February 26, 2016


A GoLocal investigation starting in 2011 into more than  elected officials and candidates who failed to submit timely campaign finance reports, closed one chapter today as Providence City Council Majority Leader Kevin Jackson submitted all of his reports. Jackson is one of dozens who have been late and been penalized for not complying with the statute.

"I dropped off everything -- I'm up to date with everything. It's a good thing, I apologize for my negligence of not taking care of the issues needed to be taken care of sooner," Jackson told GoLocalProv in a phone interview.

"Hopefully they'll scan and put online shortly. It's all there for people to look at, and you can see that everything's in there is for the community. Things I could have written off, you'll see that I didn't. 
I personally am glad I can get this burden off my shoulders -- it's not only been a burden for me, but for my family, said Jackson.

In July of 2011, GoLocal reporter Stephen Beale found:

Twenty candidates for local and state office have racked up more than $800,000 in fines for filing campaign finances reports late—or not even filing them at all—according to a GoLocalProv review of state Board of Elections records.

The top 20 list includes former state Senator John Celona, who was sentenced to state prison in 2007 for selling his votes, as well as several prominent city councilmen in Providence.

Top politician owes more than $100,000.

Overall, nearly 250 candidates in elections across the state have built up $993,000 in fines as of last week, which is about half of the entire $1.8 million budget for the Board of Elections—although if collected that money would not go directly to the board but instead would be paid into the state general fund. Most of the delinquents are candidates for local office. Fewer ran for state rep or senator and none were candidates for one of the five statewide offices.

The fines approach nearly six figures for many of the top 20 politicians. At the top is former state Senate candidate Patrick McDonald, at about $103,924. Celona takes second with $78,095. The others range from $10,000 to $70,000. 

In a follow-up investigation by GoLocal in 2013, the number of penalties had balloned to $1.3 million.

Candidates for local and state office have been slammed with over $1.3 million in fines for failing to file campaign finance reports or submitting them late, state records show.

Violators include a number of candidates for the General Assembly, a former candidate for Attorney General, at least three Providence city councilmen, and several political action groups, such as the lobbying arm for a top local law firm, Moses and Afonso, the National Organization for Marriage, and the state political action committee for the Fraternal Order of Police.

Top offenders are former state Senate candidates Patrick McDonald and Michael Rollins, former state rep candidate Kevin Johnston, and former state Senator John Celona, who served more than two years in prison on federal corruption charges. All four have fines in excess of six figures. 


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