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Posted on August 7, 2017
Tallahassee Reports has learned that Dr. Erwin Jackson has filed a complaint with the Florida Elections Commission over campaign finance reporting errors made by City Commissioner Scott Maddox during the last election cycle.
The Tallahassee Democrat recently reported that $131,259 of Maddox campaign funds were unaccounted for in campaign finance reports for more than a year.
It was also noted that Maddox’s campaign account for the his Senate run inn 2020 showed a negative balance for his contributions. Florida election law does not allow candidates to spend more than what is in their campaign account.
Maddox stated the problems were clerical errors. He told the Tallahassee Democrat that “as soon as I was informed of this error, we took steps to make
Jackson told TR that “unfortunately Scott Maddox believes he is exempt from following the laws of the State of Florida. Election records show he has violated 13 provisions of the Florida Election Code.”
Jackson’s complaint claims Maddox’s campaign finance reports demonstrate that he violated many provisions of the Florida Election Code.
The complaint alleges numerous violations that include the failure to file regular reports for his Senate account from June 2016–July 2017, spending campaign funds with insufficient funds, and falsely reporting or deliberately failing to include information required by Chapter 106.
The complaint alleges that Maddox’s actions were willful. From the complaint:
Maddox is a perennial candidate for elective office in Florida. He has been involved in elective politics his entire adult life—running for office for the first time in 1990 while still in college….He is thus intimately familiar with the campaign finance reporting requirements of the Florida Election Code.
But even if Maddox could claim ignorance of his general legal responsibilities, the Leon County Supervisor of Elections sent him a certified letter and called him on the phone putting him on notice that he was in violation of the law in September 2016; however, Maddox did nothing for almost a year.
The complaint also seeks an investigation to determine if the $131,259 was actually in the campaign bank account while the reports were not being filed with the elections office.
Jackson said “I am most concerned about the $131,259 that has been missing from the public record. Where has this money been for over a year? Has Scott used this money, or transferred funds from this trust account?”
With regards to penalties, the Florida Elections Commission website states, “An election law violation is a civil, not a criminal, matter. The Commission may impose a civil fine if the Commission finds that a violation has occurred, but the Commission has no authority to arrest someone or send someone to jail or prison. However, there are criminal violations within the Florida Election Code that may be prosecuted by a state attorney.”
Jackson also filed a complaint against Maddox’s designated campaign treasurer, Christy Cameron.