A representative for the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission said Wednesday that Board of Education candidate Dariel Daniel has paid his fines, but the commission did not have his campaign disclosure report.
“We do not have any report from him that are waiting to be checked in, or are in the ‘have a problem and filer has been contacted’ pile,” said Holly LaBerge, executive director of the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission, in an email. “This isn’t to say that the report isn’t in the mail, but if he didn’t sent it certified or overnight delivery – which is statutorily required – then there is no way to know where it is or if it will ever get here.”
Daniel, after being told about LeBerge’s response, said he had sent his disclosure through U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail “long ago.”
“When I called to ask why it wasn’t posted, (a representative) said ‘We are swamped with these forms and we will post it when we get to it,’” Daniel said.
LaBerge said there was a backlog of paper-filed reports waiting to be entered into the commission’s system due to a problem with the way they were filed, and the filers had been contacted. It is up to the filer to correct the problem.
Daniel is facing Board of Education incumbent Sheila Rowe in a runoff on Aug. 21. Rowe on Tuesday announced she had filed an ethics complaint with the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission over Daniel’s late fees for not filing, which were listed owed for December, March and June for the current election, plus $65 overdue for his 2004 run for the same seat. The complaint also listed overdue taxes, which Daniel has since said were taken care of, as a violation of Daniel’s qualification to run for office.
After hearing of the complaint, Daniel sent an overnight payment to cover the non-filing fees. One fee was waived.
Daniel said he has received $300 in campaign contributions and was unaware he was required to send in reports for December and March, which were before he qualified to run for the school board seat.
“A December report is due from anyone in office or if the filer has filed a DOI (declaration of intent) ahead of qualifying,” LaBerge said. “Then they have achieved candidacy per the statute and are required to file the appropriate reports going forward from the date the DOI was filed.”