Campaign Finance Law Violation Results in $54,000 Judgement
Secretary of State Ross Miller
Says Strong Enforcement Will Continue In 2010 Campaign Season
(Carson City, NV; June 26, 2009) – Secretary of State Ross Miller today
announced what may be the largest penalty ever issued in Nevada for a political
candidate’s failure to file campaign contribution and expenditure reports.
The First District Judicial Court earlier this month granted the state’s motion
for summary judgment against Zachary Michael Triggs, a candidate for Washoe
County Clerk in 2002.
The Honorable Judge James Russell ordered Triggs to pay $15,000 in civil
penalties for failing to properly file three required campaign finance reports with
the Secretary of State’s office. Triggs was also ordered to pay $33,369 in
attorneys’ fees and $5,934 in interest and other costs. The award of judgment
“Nevada’s campaign finance laws are not arduous. There is no excuse for
non-compliance,” said Secretary Miller. “These laws are necessary to protect the
public’s right to know who is contributing to a candidate’s campaign and the
amount of the contributions. I appreciate the message the court is sending with this
judgment. My office will remain vigilant and will continue to aggressively enforce
this state’s campaign finance laws.”
The Secretary of State’s office sends regular notices to political candidates
reminding them of the dates by which campaign finance reports are due. By state
law, the next report is not due until January 15, 2010.
The original complaint against Triggs was filed by the Secretary of State’s
office on March 30, 2004. The June 1st judgment against Triggs follows a similar
judgment issued last year by Judge Russell. In that case, a 2002 candidate for a
Washoe County state senate seat was ordered to pay $37,000 in fines and fees for
failure to file campaign finance reports.
The Nevada Attorney General’s office litigated both cases on behalf of the
Secretary of State’s office.
For more information on Nevada’s campaign finance reporting laws,
including deadlines for submitting reports, visit www.nvsos.gov.