STATE OF MINNESOTA
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD
FINDINGS REGARDING THE MILLE LACS BAND OF OJIBWE
In response to an inquiry following a routine reconciliation audit, Gwen Besnett, treasurer, Crow Wing County DFL, notified the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board that on July 15, 2002, the Crow Wing County DFL accepted a $2,500 contribution from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, an association that is not registered with the Board.
Minn. Stat. §10A.27, subd. 13 (b), prohibits an association from making a contribution to a registered political party unit unless, at the time the contribution was made, the unregistered association provides the recipient committee with the disclosure required by Minn. Stat. §10A.20.
The Board requested further information from the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe regarding this matter. Christian Sande responded on behalf of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe on April 9, 2004, and stated “the failure to provide a disclosure statement to the Crow Wing County DFL was an oversight and procedures that have been in place since 2003 reduce substantially the likelihood of a reoccurrence.”
The Crow Wing County DFL returned the $2,500 contribution to the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe on February 17, 2004, and provided the Board with a copy of the check and the accompanying letter.
This matter was considered by the Board in executive sessions in its meetings on April 28, 2004 and May 26, 2004. The Board’s decision was based upon correspondence from Ms. Besnett and Mr. Sande and Board records.
Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:
Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:
FINDINGS CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE
There is probable cause to believe that the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe inadvertently violated Minn. Stat. §10A.27, subd. 13.
Based on the above Findings, the Board issues the following:
1. In lieu of forwarding the above finding of probable cause to the County Attorney to pursue a judgment in district court, the Board imposes a civil fine of $250 on the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, an unregistered association, for making a contribution to a registered political party unit without providing the disclosure required by Minn. Stat. §10A.20.
2. The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is directed to forward to the Board payment of the civil fine, by check or money order payable to the State of Minnesota, within ten days of receipt of this order.
3. If the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe does not comply with the provisions of this order, the Board’s Executive Director shall refer this matter to the Mille Lacs County Attorney for civil enforcement pursuant to Minn. Stat. §10A.28, subd.4.
4. The Board investigation of this matter is hereby made a part of the public records of the Board pursuant to Minn. Stat. §10A.02, subd. 11, and upon payment by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe of the civil fine imposed herein, this matter is concluded.
Dated: May 26, 2004 _________________________________________
Wil Flugel, Chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board