Ex-clerk appealing $2,150 fine

Ex-clerk appealing $2,150 fine

SPRINGFIELD — Former Champaign County Circuit Clerk Linda Frank is appealing a $2,150 fine levied against her election campaign committee by the State Board of Elections.

The fine is the result of campaign disclosure reports that were filed late.

Frank, who left the office in December 2012, appeared before the elections board Friday and modified her original request to have the fine reduced to $1,075. On Friday she asked to have the entire fine eliminated.

In an earlier letter she sent to the board, Frank wrote that her campaign treasurer, Fred Wilkinson, "was ill at the time of the filing periods that were missed. I asked him if he filed the financial documents and he said he had. Unfortunately, he probably was thinking of another filing period. At that time I was unaware of his illness and how it affected his mental capacity."

Wilkinson has since passed away.

"When I received the complaint regarding the absent filings he told me he had written an appeal. I had no reason to think the appeal was not done," she wrote.

Sharon Steward, head of the election board's campaign disclosure division, said she had advised Frank to ask to have the entire fine removed.

"She told me she had been asked to run for drainage commissioner. My thought was we maybe could give her more of a break than the half. I know the half is what we're supposed to do but the fact that she's seeking a job that's probably not going to pay anything and that she was under the impression that her treasurer was filing everything, I don't know it's up to you guys," Steward told the eight-member elections board.

Board members agreed to let Frank file an appeal of the penalty, and to have a hearing officer hear the case again and make a new recommendation.

Also Friday, a number of past political candidates in East Central Illinois were the subject of a mass board order that they file delinquent campaign disclosure reports within 30 days or be subject to a fine of up to $5,000.

The group includes Champaign City Council Member Will Kyles, Kevin Sandefur and Laura Sandefur of Royal, past Urbana mayoral candidate Rex Bradfield, and past Douglas County state's attorney candidate Tammy Baer of Tuscola.

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