STATE OF MINNESOTA
CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND PUBLIC DISCLOSURE BOARD
FINDINGS IN THE MATTER OF A COMPLAINT REGARDING
DAVID OLE NATHAN JOHNSON
On March 6, 2001, Barbara Nevin (Complainant), filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board (Board) alleging that David Ole Nathan Johnson (Respondent), candidate for the Minnesota Court of Appeals, violated certain provisions of Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 10A.
The Complainant alleges that the Respondent used office equipment and personnel belonging to the law firm of Milavetz, Gallop & Milavetz (the Firm) to conduct campaign activity and failed to disclose that usage as in kind contributions and campaign expenditures on its Report of Receipts and Expenditures. By letter dated March 15, 2001, the Complainant further states that the estimated value of the usage of the equipment and office personnel would be in excess of $3,000 per month.
The Respondent was notified of the allegations and replied by letter dated April 2, 2001, stating that the number of items used by his treasurer was minor. The Respondent further states that when he learned of the usage he requested that his treasurer determine the reasonable cost of the items and instructed her to reimburse the Firm for their usage. The Respondent also states that he received only three or four phone calls relating to the campaign at the Firm, used a few pieces of letterhead and envelopes, and sent five to six faxes. He further states that no work was done during office hours and if campaign activity was discussed it was after hours or away from the Firm.
The Board considered the matter in executive sessions on April 17, 2001. Neither of the parties presented testimony. The matter was considered based on the compliant, the response and documents provided.
Based on the record before it, the Board issues the following:
STATEMENT OF THE EVIDENCE
1. The Respondent was a candidate for the Minnesota Court of Appeals during the 2000 election, and registered a principal campaign committee with the Board on August 14, 2000.
2. On August 23, 2000, a six page Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering January 1, through August 21, 2000, was faxed from the Firm to the Board.
3. On September 28, 2000, The Respondent faxed and mailed a one-page letter amending the report from the Firm using the Firms letterhead.
4. On October 10, 2000, the Respondent reimbursed the Firm $44.07 for the cost of letterhead, fax, copies and time used.
5. Since the reimbursement to the Firm was less than $100, it was not required to be itemized on the next Report of Receipts and Expenditures, but needed to be included with total non-itemized expenditures and disbursements.
6. The Report of Receipts and Expenditures covering January 1, through December 31, 2000, disclosed non-itemized expenditures of $1,511.58.
7. The Complainant did not provide evidence to show the actual costs associated with the use of the Firms equipment and office personnel.
Based on the above Statement of the Evidence, the Board makes the following:
FINDINGS CONCERNING PROBABLE CAUSE
There is no probable cause to believe that David Ole Nathan Johnson violated Minnesota Statutes §10A, by failing to disclose all expenditures associated with his campaign in election year 2000.
Based on the above Findings, the Board issues the following:
The complaint of Barbara Nevin regarding David Ole Nathan Johnson is dismissed in all respects. 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.
Board staff shall provide copies to Barbara Nevin and David Ole Nathan Johnson.
Dated: April 17, 2001
Will Fluegel, chair
Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board