Joe's Not-So-Petty Penalty For Campaign Cash Problems

Sen. Joe Lieberman's PAC is writing the feds a check for $50,000 over problems with $387,000 in petty cash payments during his contentious 2006 race against Ned Lamont.

Lieberman Friday agreed to pay the Federal Election Commission a $50,000 civil penalty and amend the campaign finance reports.

The FEC issued a news release Friday about the final action on the case.

However, the FEC did not find that Lieberman engaged in any wrongdoing, according to the Hill, a newspaper that covers Capitol Hill.

Lieberman spokeswoman Erika Masonhall told the Hill that this is the first time in 40 years of campaigns that Lieberman has been fined for a finance violation. The violations, she pointed out, were limited to the disbursements and record-keeping errors.

"Sen. Lieberman regrets those errors and will take all steps to ensure that it never happens again," Masonhall told the newspaper.

Part of the issue, the Hill reports, is cash payments that Lieberman's 2006 reelection campaign and its treasurer, Lynn Fusco, made to get-out-the-vote canvassers of more than $100.

FEC law requires that disbursements to individuals over $100 must be made in check form.

In the complaint, Thomas Swan, alleged that the Committee and treasurer failed to disclose disbursements among payments that exceeded $200 and that the Committee and treasurer failed to maintain a written record detailing all disbursements made through this fund, according to the FEC Web site.
The campaign misreported payments to two consultants as well as a $75,000 disbursement, according to the Hill.

Friends of Joe Lieberman agreed to pay a civil penalty of $50,000.

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