AJ Daoud is announcing his run for secretary of state next week. That job depends on serious attention to detail. According to state board of elections records, Daoud has been hit with a TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR penalty. For what, you ask?
The penalty is being assessed, according to board records, for filing the mid-year campaign report — due July 25, 2014 — on January 30, 2015. Here is the explanation from the March 11, 2015 penalty assessment letter:
[…] The State Board of Elections, pursuant to N.C.G.S. §163-278.34(a), is required to assess a late filing penalty at the rate of $50.00 per day, not to exceed $500.00 for a report affecting non-statewide elections or $250.00 per day, not to exceed $10,000.00 for a report affecting statewide elections. Since this report does appear to affect a statewide election, the rate of $50.00 per day applies and a late filing penalty of $10,000.00 per non-filed or late filed report has been assessed for the following report:
REPORT DATE DUE DATE FILED PENALTY
2014 Mid Year Semi-Annual 7/25/2014 01/30/2015 $10,000.00
Failure to pay or respond to this penalty will render the committee ineligible to receive or make contributions pursuant to Chapter 1.0104(d) of Title 8 of the North Carolina Administrative Code until the statutory penalty is paid and all scheduled reports filed. Please remit payment to the State Board of Elections with the notation “Civil Penalty and Forfeiture Fund.”
If you wish to appeal this assessment to the State Board of Elections, please respond in writing within fifteen (15) days from the date of this letter. The Campaign Finance Division takes no exception to a request for an appeal to the State Board of Elections and will present your written request to waive the late penalty to the Board at an upcoming meeting. We will provide written notification of the date and time for the scheduled meeting.
If this assessment is not appealed or we do not receive the penalty amount due within 30 days from the date of this letter, it will be forwarded to the NC Attorney General’s Office for collection as required by NCGS 163-278.34(e). […]
As one might expect, the DaoudCrowd IS appealing the penalty:
[…] In response to your letter dated March 11. 2015. 1 became treasurer of the AJ Daoud Campaign in November. 2014. When filing the year end report for year 2014, 1 could not find a record of the mid-year report for year 2014, and was unaware a final report had been submitted by the prior treasurer. I immediately filed the mid-year report to bring the records up to Gate as per my interpretation of the records given me.
The AJ Daoud Campaign had no expenses or donations during the year 2014, only outstanding loans.
I regret any confusion by this. Considering all reports for the AJ Daoud Campaign were previously filed in a timely manner, and the campaign had no reportable expenses or donations for the year 2014. it is requested that any penalty for the delayed report be waived.
Thank you for your consideration,
Treasurer AJ Daoud Campaign
AJ, himself, also chimed in:
Dear Ms. Strange, Deputy Director:
We are in receipt of the attached letter about a late filing penalty for the above campaign account. We filed a final report for the A.J. Daoud Campaign as of December 31, 2013. The campaign account with you should have been closed. We have not gotten any notices of reports being due since we filed the report for the period ended December 31, 2013.
We would request that the penalty be abated.
*Ahem.* We can find no documentation on the state board of elections website indicating that the fine has been paid, or waived, or forgiven, or reduced, or abated. (Any of that.)