Grounds for investigation of PSL Ma...

Grounds for investigation of PSL Mayoral hopeful JoAnn Faiella

Posted in the Port St. Lucie Forum

FedwithinPSL

AOL

#1 Oct 28, 2010
PORT ST. LUCIE — The Florida Elections Commission has found legal sufficiency to begin investigating whether mayoral hopeful JoAnn Faiella, and her campaign treasurer, Stephen Adkins, might have violated state campaign finance laws.
Former mayoral candidate and political activist Victoria Huggins filed a complaint against Faiella and Adkins alleging they committed more than 45 violations, including accepting donations in excess of the $50 limitation, underreporting contributions by $461 and using Faiella’s personal credit card to loan the campaign money.
Additionally, Huggins accuses Faiella of telling people how to vote while she was inside a polling site at the Morningside Library during early voting for the Aug. 24 primary election.
“I have reviewed the complaint and find that it contains one or more legally sufficient allegations,” wrote Elections Commission Executive Director Rosanna Catalano in an Oct. 22 letter to Faiella and Adkins.“Based on the results of the investigation, legal staff will make a written recommendation to the commission on whether there is probable cause to believe you have violated Chapter 104 and 106, Florida Statutes.”
Catalano said if Faiella and Adkins wish to respond to the allegations in the Huggins complaint, they must file a notarized statement within 20 days of receipt of the Oct. 22 letter.
She said the commission staff would investigate the following alleged violations:
Faiella and Adkins certified campaign treasurer reports as true, correct and complete when they are not;
Faiella and Adkins falsely reported or deliberately failed to include information required by Florida law;
Faiella and Adkins accepted contributions in excess of the limits prescribed by Florida law;
Faiella and Adkins accepted a cash contribution or contribution by means of a cashier’s check in excess of $50.
Under Florida Law, commission complaints are confidential until the commission renders a probable cause or no probable cause finding. The confidentiality provision does not apply to the complainant, Huggins, but it does apply to the respondents, Faiella and Adkins, unless they waive confidentiality in writing.
At any time before a probable cause finding, Faiella and Adkins may choose to settle the case with the Elections Commission, Catalano said.
Adkins, a Stuart accountant, was out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, said his father, John, who answered the phone at Adkins’ office.
In a prepared statement, Faiella said Tuesday:“Each and every one of the issues was corrected in amended campaign reports, and they were done so prior to any complaint being filed. What the state is doing is a matter of standard procedure, and my campaign has resolved all of the issues. The allegations by Huggins are procedural and do not allege any criminal activity as was the complaint concerning former Mayor Christensen.”
Huggins, who lost her bid for mayor in the Aug. 24 primary against nine other candidates, including Faiella, filed a complaint with the Elections Commission last year against former Mayor Patricia Christensen. That complaint was turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Christensen resigned last month after she was arrested on charges of misusing campaign finance money.
FedwithinPSL

AOL

#2 Oct 28, 2010
Huggins said she spoke with an Elections Commission representative Tuesday morning who told her the commission would not be looking into the alleged poll violations because it was out of the commission’s jurisdiction. Huggins said she was advised to report the alleged poll violations to the Florida Department of State.

Huggins, who openly supports Faiella’s opponent, City Councilman Chris Cooper, also ran unsuccessfully against Vice Mayor Jack Kelly for City Council in 2006.

Huggins said filing the complaint with the Elections Commission has nothing to do with her support for Cooper.

“The validation that came from the (Florida Elections Commission) speaks for itself,” Huggins said.“When you see something that is this blatant and a disregard for the state statute that governs campaign finances, I think everybody should know.

“What really motivated me to do this was watching the poll violations throughout the two weeks of early voting,” Huggins said of her allegations.“That bothered me to no end. That’s a clear violation.”

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2010/oct/26/state-...
FedwithinPSL

AOL

#3 Oct 28, 2010
PORT ST. LUCIE — The Florida Elections Commission has found legal sufficiency to begin investigating whether mayoral hopeful JoAnn Faiella, and her campaign treasurer, Stephen Adkins, might have violated state campaign finance laws.

Former mayoral candidate and political activist Victoria Huggins filed a complaint against Faiella and Adkins alleging they committed more than 45 violations, including accepting donations in excess of the $50 limitation, underreporting contributions by $461 and using Faiella’s personal credit card to loan the campaign money.

Additionally, Huggins accuses Faiella of telling people how to vote while she was inside a polling site at the Morningside Library during early voting for the Aug. 24 primary election.

“I have reviewed the complaint and find that it contains one or more legally sufficient allegations,” wrote Elections Commission Executive Director Rosanna Catalano in an Oct. 22 letter to Faiella and Adkins.“Based on the results of the investigation, legal staff will make a written recommendation to the commission on whether there is probable cause to believe you have violated Chapter 104 and 106, Florida Statutes.”

Catalano said if Faiella and Adkins wish to respond to the allegations in the Huggins complaint, they must file a notarized statement within 20 days of receipt of the Oct. 22 letter.

She said the commission staff would investigate the following alleged violations:

Faiella and Adkins certified campaign treasurer reports as true, correct and complete when they are not;

Faiella and Adkins falsely reported or deliberately failed to include information required by Florida law;

Faiella and Adkins accepted contributions in excess of the limits prescribed by Florida law;

Faiella and Adkins accepted a cash contribution or contribution by means of a cashier’s check in excess of $50.

Under Florida Law, commission complaints are confidential until the commission renders a probable cause or no probable cause finding. The confidentiality provision does not apply to the complainant, Huggins, but it does apply to the respondents, Faiella and Adkins, unless they waive confidentiality in writing.

At any time before a probable cause finding, Faiella and Adkins may choose to settle the case with the Elections Commission, Catalano said.

Adkins, a Stuart accountant, was out of town and couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday, said his father, John, who answered the phone at Adkins’ office.

In a prepared statement, Faiella said Tuesday:“Each and every one of the issues was corrected in amended campaign reports, and they were done so prior to any complaint being filed. What the state is doing is a matter of standard procedure, and my campaign has resolved all of the issues. The allegations by Huggins are procedural and do not allege any criminal activity as was the complaint concerning former Mayor Christensen.”

Huggins, who lost her bid for mayor in the Aug. 24 primary against nine other candidates, including Faiella, filed a complaint with the Elections Commission last year against former Mayor Patricia Christensen. That complaint was turned over to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Christensen resigned last month after she was arrested on charges of misusing campaign finance money.

(should have been the first comment) the beginning of the article.
FedwithinPSL

AOL

#4 Oct 28, 2010
Murphy

Palm City, FL

#5 Oct 28, 2010
I've read the MANY comments that were after the article. Turns out the comments were turned off.

Many of the Faeilla supporters are very nasty. The comments were from LEO's. What a shame that they are supporting such a low class woman who thinks that she is above us. Snob deserves all the fines that she gets!! Great thing about campaign violations.....the fines do not come out of campaign funds...comes out of her own pocket!!! She may have to take out a home loan to pay for all the fines!!!
Murphy

Palm City, FL

#6 Oct 28, 2010
Thankfully I don't live in PSL. The city of PSL has been the talk of our town. How embarrassing it must be for the good people that live there. I guess this wannabe politician doesn't care about rules.

Go get em' Mrs. Huggins!!!
FedupwithinPSL

AOL

#7 Nov 4, 2010
One can only hope that those investigating these violations do so in a speedy process. JF was elected as our Maya.
Murphy

Port Salerno, FL

#8 Nov 10, 2010
FedupwithinPSL wrote:
One can only hope that those investigating these violations do so in a speedy process. JF was elected as our Maya.
Don't hold your breathe! But your right ..one can only hope!

btw...our "Maya" is quite hilarious!!!!!
HouseRules

Stuart, FL

#9 Nov 12, 2010
The FEC violations - Strike One
Not showing up on Veteran's Day - Strike Two..

not even in office yet. Priceless!
AnotherFedupResi dent

AOL

#10 Nov 23, 2010
HouseRules wrote:
The FEC violations - Strike One
Not showing up on Veteran's Day - Strike Two..
not even in office yet. Priceless!
I guess she is up to strike 3 now. Isn't the saying...3 strikes your out?

http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2010/nov/22/memos-...
One Word

Hialeah, FL

#11 Dec 13, 2011
UPDATE:::December 8, 2011

The Florida Elections Commission has found probable cause that Mayor JoAnn Faiella's campaign treasurer, Stephen Adkins, may have committed 24 violations of the state's campaign finance law during Faiella's 2010 mayoral run.

Faiella, who had similar allegations against her, said she settled with the commission Nov. 15, admitting she made mistakes on her campaign reports. Faiella said she paid a fine of $5,000.

Florida Elections Commission Clerk Donna Malphurs said details of Faiella's case were not available. She said she couldn't confirm or deny if there was a case against Faiella until a record is signed by the commission chairman and made public.

Former mayoral candidate Victoria Huggins filed complaints against Adkins and Faiella with the Florida Elections Commission in September 2010. She alleged Faiella had inaccurately reported campaign donations, told people how to vote at a polling place during the primary election and underreported her campaign contributions by $461. Faiella also was alleged to have received several cash donations, at least three of them for $500, which violated the $50 cash contribution maximum.

Huggins said Faiella fixed the errors and refunded the cash donations, but failed to amend her finance reports. Huggins noted more than 45 potential violations in Faiella's campaign finance reports.

The former mayoral candidate said she felt compelled to bring complaints forward after red flags were raised when Faiella's campaign reports showed she was using a credit card for purchases or self loans. Huggins said purchases were not notated properly and payments were made to the credit card company rather than to the candidate, a violation of Florida Statutes Chapter 160.

"That's a no-no," Huggins said. "The campaign finance laws are very exact."

Faiella said she was assured by the commission she did nothing illegal.

"I can't speak to Adkins, but any errors in my campaign reports were honest mistakes and not intentional," she said. "It was best to put this all behind me as quickly as possible."

The elections commission met Aug. 9 and investigated complaints against Adkins, which included three complaints of falsifying Faiella's campaign reports and five complaints of accepting cash contributions exceeding the allowed $50 limit. The agency also investigated 16 credit card purchases for Faiella's campaign, according to records from the Florida Elections Commission.

The commission's investigation shows the alleged violations occurred last year between May 28 and Aug. 15.

Its investigation found Adkins made several campaign-related purchases, totaling $7,925.47, using a personal credit card issued by JP Morgan Chase to Faiella. Instead of issuing a reimbursement to Faiella directly as required by Florida law, Adkins reimbursed Faiella by making payments to the credit card company.

As a result, the total amount of payments to the credit card company exceeded the amount Faiella spent for campaign-related items because Adkins used campaign money to pay for accrued interest and other fees.

When allegations were first made in October 2010, Faiella said she used her personal JP Morgan Chase credit card to loan herself campaign money. She said the contributions were reported as loans but didn't know the loans had to be recorded in her name.

Adkins now has the right to request a formal or informal hearing in front of the commission to dispute or concede to the findings of the investigation.

Adkins could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Malphurs, who was an investigator on the Adkins case, said determining probable cause doesn't mean Adkins is guilty. She said if he is found guilty, the commission can impose a fine of up to $1,000 per count. If Adkins concedes to the allegations, he can negotiate his fine.

Huggins said that although Adkins' case is not closed, she's glad the issue with Faiella has been resolved.

Continued
One Word

Hialeah, FL

#12 Dec 13, 2011
"She has paid her fine as governed by the Florida Elections Commission," Huggins said. "She stood out there and said she did do that and I will pay my fine. There was nothing criminal that occurred in her campaign contributions. Now that that's behind us, it's time to move forward."

Huggins, who lost her bid for mayor against Faiella, said the complaint was not personal. She said she had made similar complaints against others in the past.

In 2009, Huggins filed a complaint with the elections commission against former Mayor Patricia Christensen, which led to Christensen's arrest and resignation last month on charges of campaign finance violations.

"It was a very different avenue with former Mayor Christensen," Huggins said. "A lot of people saw the campaign finance complaints against (Faiella) and thought once again that a violation of criminal intent occurred and that's not the case."

Faiella said she takes full responsibility for mistakes in her campaign reports. She said the experience should serve as a lesson for all amateur politicians.

"Case is closed and I'm very happy," she said.
One Word

Hialeah, FL

#13 Dec 13, 2011
The Florida Elections Commission has found probable cause that Mayor JoAnn Faiella's campaign treasurer, Stephen Adkins, may have committed 24 violations of the state's campaign finance law during Faiella's 2010 mayoral run.

Faiella, who had similar allegations against her, said she settled with the commission Nov. 15, admitting she made mistakes on her campaign reports. Faiella said she paid a fine of $5,000.

Florida Elections Commission Clerk Donna Malphurs said details of Faiella's case were not available. She said she couldn't confirm or deny if there was a case against Faiella until a record is signed by the commission chairman and made public.

Former mayoral candidate Victoria Huggins filed complaints against Adkins and Faiella with the Florida Elections Commission in September 2010. She alleged Faiella had inaccurately reported campaign donations, told people how to vote at a polling place during the primary election and underreported her campaign contributions by $461. Faiella also was alleged to have received several cash donations, at least three of them for $500, which violated the $50 cash contribution maximum.

Huggins said Faiella fixed the errors and refunded the cash donations, but failed to amend her finance reports. Huggins noted more than 45 potential violations in Faiella's campaign finance reports.

The former mayoral candidate said she felt compelled to bring complaints forward after red flags were raised when Faiella's campaign reports showed she was using a credit card for purchases or self loans. Huggins said purchases were not notated properly and payments were made to the credit card company rather than to the candidate, a violation of Florida Statutes Chapter 160.

"That's a no-no," Huggins said. "The campaign finance laws are very exact."

Faiella said she was assured by the commission she did nothing illegal.

"I can't speak to Adkins, but any errors in my campaign reports were honest mistakes and not intentional," she said. "It was best to put this all behind me as quickly as possible."

The elections commission met Aug. 9 and investigated complaints against Adkins, which included three complaints of falsifying Faiella's campaign reports and five complaints of accepting cash contributions exceeding the allowed $50 limit. The agency also investigated 16 credit card purchases for Faiella's campaign, according to records from the Florida Elections Commission.

The commission's investigation shows the alleged violations occurred last year between May 28 and Aug. 15.

Its investigation found Adkins made several campaign-related purchases, totaling $7,925.47, using a personal credit card issued by JP Morgan Chase to Faiella. Instead of issuing a reimbursement to Faiella directly as required by Florida law, Adkins reimbursed Faiella by making payments to the credit card company.

As a result, the total amount of payments to the credit card company exceeded the amount Faiella spent for campaign-related items because Adkins used campaign money to pay for accrued interest and other fees.

When allegations were first made in October 2010, Faiella said she used her personal JP Morgan Chase credit card to loan herself campaign money. She said the contributions were reported as loans but didn't know the loans had to be recorded in her name.

Adkins now has the right to request a formal or informal hearing in front of the commission to dispute or concede to the findings of the investigation.

Adkins could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Malphurs, who was an investigator on the Adkins case, said determining probable cause doesn't mean Adkins is guilty. She said if he is found guilty, the commission can impose a fine of up to $1,000 per count. If Adkins concedes to the allegations, he can negotiate his fine.

Huggins said that although Adkins' case is not closed, she's glad the issue with Faiella has been resolved.
One Word

Hialeah, FL

#14 Dec 13, 2011
"She has paid her fine as governed by the Florida Elections Commission," Huggins said. "She stood out there and said she did do that and I will pay my fine. There was nothing criminal that occurred in her campaign contributions. Now that that's behind us, it's time to move forward."

Huggins, who lost her bid for mayor against Faiella, said the complaint was not personal. She said she had made similar complaints against others in the past.

In 2009, Huggins filed a complaint with the elections commission against former Mayor Patricia Christensen, which led to Christensen's arrest and resignation last month on charges of campaign finance violations.

"It was a very different avenue with former Mayor Christensen," Huggins said. "A lot of people saw the campaign finance complaints against (Faiella) and thought once again that a violation of criminal intent occurred and that's not the case."

Faiella said she takes full responsibility for mistakes in her campaign reports. She said the experience should serve as a lesson for all amateur politicians.
One Word

Hialeah, FL

#15 Dec 13, 2011
From what I've read, every candidate receives a campaign treasury handbook that is considered their bible. It's not like all the directions on what to do or how to do them aren't in the book. And if your still not sure, isn't there a phone number for the elections office to guide you along the way and to answer any questions a candidate may have????

Like it or not, rules are rules and the excuse of being an amateur politician is not flying with me. Weren't the other candidates all considered amateur politicians? They didn't seem to have the mistakes.

Faiella's attitude is move on folks, there's nothing to see.

But there is....even tho basically she settled this before going to a hearing, she paid her fine. She was found guilty!!
One Word

Hialeah, FL

#16 Dec 13, 2011
Huggs
Has a Clue
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 2460



"Faiellagate"
« on: December 22, 2010, 11:00:01 PM »

When "Faiellagate" first started, regarding the memo that was released after the election, I posted on the TCPalm site, that I believed the memo was fabricated as an attack on Ms. Faiella. I questioned this because of the stellar record Ms. Faiella had prior to the event.

Some commentors to that particular article were none-to-kind and asked me, if at any time I found anything near the truth, would I retract my stance. I was even accused of being in the Faiella camp.

I am now retracting my stance and offer apologies to those who felt I betrayed them BEFORE getting to the truth.

I have found the TRUTH in regards to this memo. The contents of the memo were not fabricated. As a matter of fact, it is much worse than anyone can imagine.

It is at this time that I ask for your forgiveness. It takes an inordinate amount of time to get everything in order when going back years and years and fact checking all of the information.

I now feel so strongly that our citizens have been wronged that I WILL BEGIN A RECALL PETITION after the first of the year.

~Huggs

Victoria Huggins

http://www.treasurecoastvoices.com/index.php...
One Word

Hialeah, FL

#17 Dec 13, 2011
one thing doesn't add up. A year ago ms huggins was ready to nail faiella to a walk and this year she stands proudly alongside her at the FEC hearings????

Who is brown nosing who here? A promise of something?
Sorrytosay

Hialeah, FL

#18 Feb 2, 2012
Just finding this thread. How come this information wasn't made public besides being a quick read in the newspaper? How come the news didn't make an issue out of this? We the taxpayers of their salary need to know these important issues. It seems city hall quickly swept this under the rug. Why????
Sportsfan

Hialeah, FL

#19 Mar 6, 2012
Sorrytosay wrote:
Just finding this thread. How come this information wasn't made public besides being a quick read in the newspaper? How come the news didn't make an issue out of this? We the taxpayers of their salary need to know these important issues. It seems city hall quickly swept this under the rug. Why????
(IMO)Don't you know "sweeping under the carpet" is a qualification for any candidates that run for the city? LMAO

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