County kicks finance complaint back to town - Tucson Local Media: Import

County kicks finance complaint back to town

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Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2004 11:00 pm

The Pima County Attorney's Office has declined to take action on a complaint forwarded to it by the town of Oro Valley alleging campaign finance irregularities by an independent political committee.

Assistant County Attorney Paula Wilk, in May 7 letter to Town Attorney Mark Langlitz, said she was taking no action on the complaint from an anonymous citizen because it was not a sworn complaint, as required by state law, and because the issues raised in the letter would be better handled by Langlitz.

The complaint was a letter by a Phoenix lawyer, Lisa Hauser, who was hired by an anonymous Oro Valley citizen, asking the town to review the activities of OV Candidates 2004, an independent committee spending large amounts of money in the Town Council election.

Hauser wanted the town to investigate the committee, claiming there was reason to believe its members were acting in concert with five town council candidates, something that is prohibited by state campaign finance law.

Bill Adler, OV Candidates 2004 chairman, said his committee had done nothing wrong and had not acted in concert in any way with the candidates the committee is supporting in newspaper advertisements and campaign handbills.

Langlitz said May 3 he forwarded the complaint to the county attorney and the state Attorney General because it was a matter better handled by their offices.

He said May 10 he would not be taking any action on the allegations in Hauser's letter because "violations of that nature need to be (investigated) at the county level, not the city or town where the election is being held, for obvious potential conflict reasons."

He would not comment about Hauser's allegations as to whether the independent committee had acted in concert with other candidates.

Hauser also claimed in her letter that the members of OV Candidates 2004 had violated state caps on aggregate annual campaign contributions. Langlitz, though, said he believed the state statutes were clear that independent committees are not constrained by those caps, which was supported by the Secretary of State's Office, which Town Clerk Kathi Cuvelier had called for advice.

Adler and several of the candidates accused in Hauser's letter decried the complaint as "dirty politics," especially since the person who hired Hauser wanted anonymity.

Langlitz said he has yet to hear from the Attorney General's office about the letter.

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