09/02/08 — Jerry Braswell faces fine for late campaign finance reports

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Jerry Braswell faces fine for late campaign finance reports

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on September 2, 2008 1:37 PM

Superior Court Judge Jerry Braswell, who is running for re-election against challenger Arnold Jones II, is facing a potential $1,000 fine for failing to turn in campaign finance reports on time.

The first was the campaign's organizational report, which was due on Feb. 28, but not turned in until June 27.

The second was the campaign's second-quarter finance report, which was due on July 10, but not turned in until Aug. 20.

In a letter dated Aug. 13, Braswell's treasurer, Katherine Shadding, was informed of the overdue second-quarter report. She also was informed that the $500 penalty for the late organizational report had been waived, as long as no other penalties were assessed.

However, in a second letter dated Aug. 28, Shadding was then informed that because both reports were late, the original $500 fine and a new $500 fine were both being levied.

Braswell explained, however, -- and Mrs. Shadding confirmed -- that the matter was a simple oversight on the part of his campaign.

He said he believes the first late report was the result of a misunderstanding stemming from the fact that because he did not face a primary after he filed for office, his campaign was not really active until June -- leading Mrs. Shadding to think that there was nothing to file.

"She may have been misinformed," he said.

As for the second, he continued, "she wasn't advised of it during her (online) training."

Braswell also said that they have been left a little confused by the receipt of the two letters in such short order -- one saying the first fine had been waived and then the second saying both fines were being in fact levied.

"They're kind of inconsistent. But I haven't had a chance to really look at it and see," he said, noting that he was out of town last week when the second letter arrived.

"They really communicate with her, not me," he added. "She feels bad about it, but everything was all new for her and she's learning it. My response was not to worry, just find out what you're supposed to do.

"If they waive the fee, then they waive it. If they don't, then it's just something that needs to be paid. They're just doing their job. But I hope they waive the fee."

The campaign has 15 days from the receipt of the letter to appeal to the state Board of Elections, and Mrs. Shadding said she does plan to talk to the state office.

According to the state elections office, reading off the incomplete second-quarter report -- dated Aug. 20 -- Braswell's campaign has $1,165.60 cash on hand.

Jones' campaign -- as of July 2 -- has $4,082.45 cash on hand.