FEC Fines Arkansas Law Firm for Contributions in the Name of Another and Other Bad Acts
On April 22, 2006, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) announced that it had reached a conciliation agreement with an Arkansas lawyer and his law firm for violations of the Federal Election Campaign Act. Together, the lawyer and his firm agreed to pay $50,000 in civil penalties. Edwards for President, the 2004 presidential campaign committee of John Edwards, agreed to pay $9,500 in civil penalties related to the matter.
The agreement in Matter Under Review (MUR) 5366 stemmed from allegations that Tab Turner of North Little Rock, AK, among other things, reimbursed four firm employees for contributions to the Edwards campaign. Moreover, according to the conciliation agreement, the staff at the law firm Turner & Associates worked on the Edwards fundraisers from the office during normal working hours as part of their job duties. Since the law firm was incorporated, the agreement alleges that the firm made illegal in-kind corporate contributions to the Edwards campaign for the activities of the staff and illegally facilitated contributions. In addition, the lawyer charged to his personal account at the firm the rental car and hotel expenses associated with firm staff assisting at the Edwards fundraisers, causing excessive contributions on the part of Turner.
According to the conciliation agreement, the FEC explicitly did not make a "knowing and willful" finding against Turner or his firm.
Documents related to MUR 5366 can be found through the Enforcement Query System on the FEC's website at http://eqs.nictusa.com/eqs/searcheqs.