SEEC Fines Obsitnik, Perillo Over Alleged Campaign & Contribution Violations

NBC Connecticut

State election regulators on Wednesday filed former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Obsitnik $90,000 over allegations he illegally coordinated with an independent expenditure committee created to help his failed 2018 campaign.

Regulators also alleged that he failed to register his candidate committee without 10 days of declaring a run for governor.

State Rep. Jason Perillo (R-Shelton) was fined $10,000 over allegations he made a "disallowed" contribution to Obsitnik's campaign and helped coordinate with the independent expenditure committee.

Campaigns and independent expenditure groups can each work to elect the same candidate, but they cannot coordinate efforts in any way.

The State Elections Enforcement Commission voted to accept the fine and consent order Wednesday. Neither partner admitted guilt in agreeing to the settlement.

“The claims lack merit. It would take years and millions of dollars, especially for taxpayers,” Obsitnik said. “It just doesn’t make sense to fight. It is just time to move on.”

“I didn’t observe a single instance of coordination while I was volunteering with the committee,” Perillo said Wednesday in a phone interview. However, he did the math and it was “cheaper to pay the fine than defend myself.” He estimated a legal defense would cost him about $50,000.

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