The N.J. Election Law Enforcement Comm’n recently filed charges against a political action committee maintained by the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Int’l Union Local 54, claiming the union failed to file timely reports during 1999 and 2000. NJELEC found in some cases that the Atlantic City local filed its reports 307 days late.
PACs, which are comprised of two or more persons who act jointly to aid or promote candidates for elected office, are required to file quarterly reports with NJELEC. N.J. State law also requires PACs to report all political donations of $600 or more that are made between Sept. and the date of a general election within 48 hours. Failure to file timely reports carries a maximum fine of $3,500 for each unreported transaction. In one count of the charges against Local 54, the union failed to report 20 transactions.
Local 54 president Robert McDevitt said the union admits it failed to file PAC reports on time and has agreed to pay $3,800 to settle the case. “There is no controversy,” he said. “They were filed late. . . .We figured we would accept it. It would cost more to argue it.” McDevitt blamed the late filing of reports on issues affecting the union during 1999 and 2000. He said the union dealt with an election of officers, a strike and contract negotiations with the Atlantic City’s casino hotels during 1999. In 2000, the union’s comptroller position was handled by several people and as a result some financial issues were mishandled, McDevitt said. “Things fell through the cracks,” he said. [Press of Atlantic City 1/11/02]