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FEC Fines Labor PAC Over Unreported Transfers

A political action committee for a government employees union has paid a $60,000 civil fine to the Federal Election Commission for failing to report $10 million in transfers from its federal account to non-federal accounts over several years.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees PEOPLE committee agreed in September to pay the penalty. The FEC disclosed the outcome of the case last week.

According to commission documents, the AFSCME committee failed to report a total of $10 million in transfers from its federal account to one or more non-federal accounts between 1995 and 2000, resulting in inaccurate disbursement and cash-on-hand figures in reports to the commission.

In other cases disclosed by the FEC:

— New Jersey-based Amboy National Bank agreed to pay a $60,000 civil fine for raising money for political committees including the Jersey Bankers Political Action Committee, reimbursing several executives for their political contributions and letting officers use expense accounts to make political donations.

Federal law bars national banks from making political donations or using their resources for political fund raising. The bank encouraged its employees to make political contributions and in some cases told them it was expected, FEC documents show. Eleven senior officers used their expense accounts to give a total of at least $55,322 to candidates and party committees from February 1996 to last January, the commission found.

Amboy president George Scharpf agreed to pay a $24,000 penalty, and the Jersey Bankers PAC was to pay $2,000.

— The Republican Party of Arkansas agreed to pay a $45,000 civil penalty for violations including accepting excessive contributions, misstating financial activity and failing to meet reporting requirements in the 1997-98 election cycle.