Islander’s complaint leads to auditor’s fine

The newly-elected county auditor incurred a small fine after island resident Fred Scheffler filed a complaint that the auditor filed his campaign forms late.

Auditor Walt Washington (pictured at right) replaced Karen Flynn, who retired this year. Washington, a Democrat, was challenged by Republican John Clark.

Islander Chris Van Dyk’s Bainbridge Media Group was also hit with a fine this week.

Read Steven Gardener’s story below.

Auditor Fined for Late Filings
By Steven Gardner

Kitsap County Auditor Walt Washington (pictured at right) has been fined $300, with most of it suspended, for filing late financial public disclosure forms as part of his 2008 campaign.

The complaint was filed to the state’s Public Disclosure Commission by Frederick Scheffler of Bainbridge Island.

Washington was late with several forms, saying at the time it was the result of mix-ups in mailing. He has since switched to electronic filing. After the filing problem Washington said he would hire someone new to do the work and go to electronic filing, which he now is required to do because his campaign has spent more than $10,000 on the race.

The first efforts there didn’t go easily either, according to a state Public Disclosure Commission official.

“It’s like any software. When you start using it there is a learning curve,” said Lori Anderson, PDC spokeswoman. Anderson said Washington’s campaign was responsive in making the needed fixes.

The commission’s $300 fine included $200 that is suspended and will never need to be paid as long as Washington doesn’t have to come before the commission again within four years, Anderson said.

Also paying a fine was Bainbridge Islander Chris Van Dyk’s Bainbridge Media Group. Anderson said when a lobbyist group is late the first time there is a warning. The second time there is a hearing, unless the lobbyist pays a $100 fine and files the late documents. Bainbridge Media Group did that, Anderson said.

One thought on “Islander’s complaint leads to auditor’s fine

  1. The Eggs and Issues Political Forum sponsored by Bremerton Chamber is airing on Bainbrdge Island TV (Comcast stations 12 and 22). The debate runs for 60 minutes. One of the debate issues is this matter of PDC filing violations.

    Contact BITV for air times of the debates.

    To the credit of both Walt Washington and John Clark, both candidates welcomed the opportunity for the debate to be filmed. This is the same filming Rep. Christine Rolfes barred because she does not believe in open government. When asked why she would not allow filming, Ms. Rolfes said she didn’t want the cameras on her all the time.

    The debate is very good in helping form an opinion on the qualifications of both men. Check it out.

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