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Fall River State Rep. Alan Silvia to pay $20,000 for Concealing Campaign Finances

Alan-SilviaState Rep. Alan Silvia of Fall River agreed to pay $20,000 to the state’s general fund as part of a disposition agreement with the Office of Campaign and Political Finance to resolve campaign finance violations.

 In 2012, a state election year, Silvia’s campaign committee did not comply with several requirements of the state’s campaign finance law.

The violations include excess contributions, disguising the true source of contributions, filing inaccurate or incomplete campaign finance reports, not keeping complete records and depositing corporate contributions, according to the disposition agreement.

According to OCPF’s review of bank and committee records, Silvia’s campaign committee spent $25,800 directly from another person’s bank account, to which Silvia was added as a signatory in March of 2012. However, none of Silvia’s personal funds were ever deposited into the account, funded by Colette Matarese.

The use of Matarese’s money in this account for the campaign represented an excess contribution of $25,300 to the Silvia Committee (the annual contribution limit is $500 in a calendar year). Of the $25,800 spent from the account for committee purposes, the committee only disclosed $11,600 on campaign finance reports.

Another issue addressed in the agreement concerned the actual source of contributions. The Silvia Committee intentionally disclosed $7,400 in campaign contributions from individuals who did not make the actual contributions.

The Silvia Committee also failed to disclose other contributions and maintain records – it deposited checks from individuals totaling $1,125 but failed to disclose these contributions on campaign finance reports, and it also deposited approximately $4,000 in cash, for which no contributor information was maintained.

The Silvia Committee received and deposited corporate contributions totaling $1,250 in 2012. Corporate contributions are prohibited by the campaign finance law.

In addition to the payment of $20,000, which will be paid by Silvia personally in four installments, the candidate also agreed to a $10,000 suspended forfeiture payment. If the candidate and his committee comply with the agreement through Dec. 31, 2016, the suspended forfeiture will not be due.

The candidate and committee also agreed to file additional campaign finance records with OCPF through 2016, including copies of bank statements, deposited items, cancelled checks, committee bills and invoices or receipts.

The disposition agreement was signed Aug. 28, 2013, by Silvia and OCPF Director Michael J. Sullivan. A disposition agreement is a voluntary written agreement entered into between the subject of a review and OCPF, in which the subject agrees to take certain specific actions. The agreement between OCPF and Silvia is available on OCPF’s website.

The Office of Campaign and Political Finance is an independent state agency that administers Massachusetts General Law Chapter 55, the campaign finance law. Established in 1973, OCPF is the depository for disclosure reports filed by candidates and committees.

 

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan

Tom Duggan is president and publisher of The Valley Patriot Newspaper in North Andover, Massachusetts. He is an author, host of the Paying Attention TV/Radio Program, lectures on media bias and police issues, is a former Lawrence School Committeeman, former political director for Mass. Citizens Alliance, and a 1990 Police Survivor. You can email your comments to valleypatriot@aol.com.

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