DURHAM — State Senate candidate Mike Woodard filed required documents with the State Board of Elections and state Ethics Commission more than two months late.
Then, he needed to make corrections, and one form appears to be missing information.
Woodard hand-delivered the forms to Raleigh this week, after his opponent, Durham attorney Kerry Sutton, issued press releases about the missing documents and complained to the elections board.
State law (G.S. 163-278.9) requires candidates to submit several documents, including a “Statement of Organization” and “Certification of Treasurer,” with the Board of Elections within 10 days of filing to run for office.
Candidates for the General Assembly are required (G.S. 138A-22.) to submit a “Statement of Economic Interest” within 10 days to the Ethics Commission
Woodard, who is in his third term as a Durham City Council member, filed to run for state Senate in District 22 on Feb. 15. Amy Strange of the Elections Board and Teresa Pell with the Ethics Commission said Woodard hand-delivered the documents Tuesday.
On Wednesday, Woodard submitted amended forms after being informed his designated treasurer is ineligible for the job. Originally, he listed Michael S. Wilson of Boulder County, Colo., as treasurer, but state law (G.S. 163-278.7) requires campaign treasurers to be North Carolina residents.
Woodard said he learned of the requirement when he turned his paperwork in Tuesday. In his new filing, he named himself treasurer, which the law allows. His original and new Statement of Organization and Certification of Treasurer are available at http://bit.ly/IEtVbR.
Woodard’s Statement of Economic Interest includes his positions on the boards of the Durham Arts Council, Lyon Park Community Center and Downtown Durham Inc., but not that on the board of Voyager Academy, a Durham charter school. It lists Duke University Health System, for which Woodard is an assistant controller, as a source of income, but not the City of Durham, from which he receives a council member’s salary.
“I’ll take a look at the form and take any corrective measures needed,” Woodard said Wednesday.
The Ethics Commission may assess a $250 civil penalty for late or non-filing. Criminal penalties apply to concealing information or providing false information.
State law allows the Board of Elections to fine candidates for local and district offices $50 a day for delinquent reports, up to a maximum of $500. Failure to pay fines, according to the state Campaign Finance Manual, may lead to a committee being barred from receiving or spending money.
Strange, compliance specialist with the state elections board, said the policy is to waive the fine for the first case of late reporting.
George Lawrence, Sutton’s campaign chairman, issued press releases Monday and Tuesday about Woodard’s missing documents.
Sutton’s first release also stated that Woodard had been late filing a financial report in 2010, the year after his last City Council campaign.
Woodard said he had missed a reporting deadline due to a late meeting, but turned in the report the following day.
“He’s a repeat offender,” Lawrence said. “There is a pattern of willful knowing disregard for these very important laws.”
Last Friday, Woodard said, he received written notice from the Ethics Commission that his statement was missing; he said he had heard nothing from the board about the overdue Statement of Organization.
Strange said the elections office had tried to contact someone with Woodard’s campaign without success.
In March, Lawrence and Sutton complained when Woodard campaign signs went up in public rights-of-way earlier than they thought was allowed under a city ordinance. The ordinance allows no signs earlier than 45 days prior to an election.
City-County Planning Director Steve Medlin, who is authorized to interpret the ordinance, said the legal signage period begins 45 days before the start of early voting and Woodard’s signs were not in violation. Woodard and several other candidates had inquired about the rule before posting signs, Medlin said. Sutton had not.
District 22 covers most of Durham County and all of Caswell and Person counties. The winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary will face Republican Douglas Milton Holmes of Chapel Hill (Durham County) in the November election.