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Queens Chronicle

Assemblyman Weprin owes $28K in CFB fines

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Posted: Thursday, December 6, 2012 3:06 pm

Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) owes over $28,000 in fines after the city’s Campaign Finance Board found violations with his 2009 comptroller campaign filings.

Weprin is personally on the hook for $28,184, which he has pledged to repay, according to his spokeswoman, Jennifer Berkley, who was not working with the 2009 campaign and could not fully attest to whatever problems arose with its bookkeeping. 

“The assemblyman is taking full responsibility and will be repaying the penalty,” she said.

The violations run the gamut from accepting corporate contributions, unregistered political committees and failing to provide bank statements.

“When the people of New York City entrust candidates with public funds we expect them to be good stewards of those funds as they run their campaigns,” said CFB spokesman Matthew Sollars. “The law requires candidates to be personally liable for repaying public funds in some circumstances, but not in others.”

The decision also requires the long-dissolved campaign committee to repay $325,561 of the $928,771 it received in public funds. The amount must be returned before Weprin can receive any future matching public funds, should he run for a city-level office again.  

“The obligation to repay these funds to the taxpayers will remain on the books,” Sollars said. “If the candidate ever wants to participate in the campaign finance program in the future that obligation must be satisfied in full.”

The problems originated in the Weprin campaign’s segregated account, which was to be used for non-campaign related expenditures such as paying off previous fines, according to Sollars.

“The campaign failed to document how much money it raised and spent from this account,” he said. “Those factors resulted in the repayment amount.”

Ironically, any future campaign committees Weprin creates can repay the $325,000-plus owed – by using a segregated account.

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