Antioch Mayor Thorpe violating state campaign finance law not filing report for his recall committee

Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder and Mayor Lamar Thorpe with his framed recall petition.

City Clerk Householder said he didn’t have to; FPPC filing schedule shows it was due on January 31. He could face $5,000 penalty; complaints filed by Antioch residents

“it is the responsibility of any and every public official to know their filing requirements and to fulfill them” – Jay Wierenga, Communications Director, California Fair Political Practices Commission

By Allen D. Payton

Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe is in violation of state campaign finance laws for not filing the required semi-annual report for his recall committee which was due January 31. City Clerk Ellie Householder, who is also facing possible recall, has said he didn’t have to. However, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission that’s incorrect.

The filing schedule for Local Candidates and Officeholders (Including Superior Court Judges) Not Being Voted Upon in 2021 shows Thorpe’s recall committee 460 report was due on Jan. 31, 2022. Source: FPPC – highlight added

The latest report, known as a 460 form, is supposed to show all of a campaign’s contributions, loans and expenses for the period of July 1 through Dec. 31, 201.  2021_07_LCL_Officeholders_Not_on_Ballot

Thorpe formed his committee to beat the recall by submitting his 410 form on Dec. 9, 2021. That form is not required to be filed until a campaign has raised or spent at least $2,000. Thorpe 410 from SOS_001

Thorpe has boasted on social media that he’s raised $84,000 to beat the recall. But without the report his contributors have not been disclosed to the public.

An emailed request was made to Householder for copies of Thorpe’s semi-annual 460 campaign finance reports, through Dec. 31, 2021, for both his 2020 mayoral committee and his committee to beat the recall. Neither had been posted on the city’s website as of Friday, March 11.

At a community event the next day, Householder told this reporter, “we have them. We just haven’t posted them, yet.” She was asked to provide copies by the following Monday. But they were not.

Stop the #KAREN Recall of Lamar Thorpe 2022 Form 410 page 1. Source: Antioch City Clerk

A call was then made to Deputy City Clerk Christina Garcia asking for copies of the reports.

“Ellie said she has them. They were submitted to her,” Garcia said. “I have not seen them. I was off a couple of days. So, if she received them, it may have happened while I was out. She has them with her. I don’t know where. I don’t have them, here in my office. I can have access to them. But for now, she’s handling all the FPPC stuff for the office. I’m handling all the other day-to-day. She has to learn the software and teach people how to learn the software. There’s been a glitch which is getting worked out.”

As of Friday, March 18, the forms were still not on the city clerk’s website. Subsequently, an email was sent to Householder, Thorpe and Garcia with the following: “as of today, they are still not on the city’s website – City of Antioch Electronic Filing System (netfile.com) nor have I received copies of them via email. Now, today I’m told that Lamar’s campaign treasurer hasn’t completed them, yet and he hasn’t submitted them to your office. Which is true? Do you have them? If so, please email me copies, today and upload them to the website, today. Or if necessary, I can pick up hard copies, today.”

Thorpe was asked in the same email,” if you haven’t yet submitted your 460’s for both committees, why not? When will you?”

No responses were received.

Stop the #KAREN Recall of Lamar Thorpe 2022 Form 410 page 2. Source: Antioch City Clerk

On Monday, March 21 another email was sent to all three with the following: “Please see below the questions I sent you on Friday afternoon, because Lamar’s 460’s for both his 2020 mayoral campaign committee and beat the recall committee, nor his 410 for the latter committee are on the city’s website are still not there, as of today.

If they have been submitted to the City Clerk’s Office, I want copies of them, today, please. No more delays. If you don’t yet have them, Lamar when will you or your campaign treasurer, if it’s someone other than you, submit them?”

Householder responded via email the next day with copies of Thorpe’s 410 form for his recall committee and 460 for his 2020 Mayor’s campaign committee. But the latter form shows no contributions or loans received or expenditures made between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2021. Thorpe for Mayor 2020_460_7121 to 123121

“I appreciate your patience while I resolved technical issues with NetFile; both the 410 and 460 are viewable/downloadable. For convenience, I have also attached them to this email,” she wrote. “Please note there is no 460 for the ‘Stop the #KAREN Recall of Lamar Thorpe 2022’ because one is not due yet.”

In response, an email was sent to Householder and Garcia asking, “since his recall committee was formed on Dec. 9, 2021, shouldn’t his 460 report for any activity prior to Dec. 31, 2021 have been due on Jan. 31, 2022?”

Householder responded that same day writing, “No. You can find the filing schedule for all campaign committees here: https://www.fppc.ca.gov/learn/campaign-rules/where-and-when-to-file-campaign-statements/when-to-file-campaign-statements-state-local-filing-schedules.html

A search of that website shows multiple campaign finance report filing schedules. As a result an email was sent to both Householder and Garcia that same evening with the following:

“This looks like the correct one under the 2021 Filing Schedules since there was no election in 2021, Lamar formed his committee and filed his 410 in 2021 and it required a report by Jan. 31, 2022

Local Candidates and Officeholders (Including Superior Court Judges) Not Being Voted Upon in 2021

www.fppc.ca.gov/content/dam/fppc/NS-Documents/TAD/Filing%20Schedules/2021/2021_07_LCL_Officeholders_Not_on_Ballot.pdf

That reads:

Jan 31, 2022 Semi-Annual 7/1/21 – 12/31/21 460 • All committees must file this report • Exception: Officeholders whose salaries are less than $200/month and judges do not have to file this semi-annual statement if no contributions were received or expenditures were made during the period.

It further reads:

Form 460: Candidates who have raised/spent $2,000 or more file the Form 460. The Form 410 (Statement of Organization) must also be filed once $2,000 or more has been raised/spent.

Why would Lamar form his committee and file his 410 on Dec. 9 if he hadn’t already raised or spent a least $2,000 by then?

If that’s not the correct schedule which one is that you are following for Lamar’s recall, please?”

No response was received. That email was resent on Friday, March 25 with, “I’m resending that last email since you didn’t respond and answer my question about which reporting schedule you are following for Lamar Thorpe’s recall committee. I don’t see any others that apply other than the one I read and shared.”

Still no response was received.

Householder was then asked in person which reporting schedule she is following. She replied, “that’s for you to research.”

Fair Political Practices Commission Spokesman Says 460 Report Due Jan. 31 for Committee Formed Before Dec. 31, 2021

According to information provided by Jay Wierenga, Communications Director for the state Fair Political Practices Commission, the city clerk is wrong based on the filing schedule that applies.

Questions were sent to him on Wed., April 6 asking, “which schedule on that page is the correct one for a council member facing possible recall and formed his committee to raise funds to beat it prior to the end of last year? Also, if she is wrong about this and hasn’t required him to file in a timely manner, what consequences are there for each of them? Finally, if so, can the oversight of his recall election process be removed from her and be given to the Deputy City Clerk, as is being done with Householder’s recall election process?”

Wierenga responded the next day writing, “I will get back to you to try to determine the proper filing schedule. One thing I can say it is the responsibility of any and every public official to know their filing requirements and to fulfill them. Any violation of the Political Reform Act can result in a penalty of up to $5,000 per violation. Committee treasurers are also responsible for the committees they serve as treasurers.”

Later that same day he wrote, “I/we are not going to comment on any one, specific person/group/situation. I want to make that very clear that this is not a comment on any one person or group. Generally speaking, and for anyone who qualified as a committee before 12/31/21, then a Form 460 was required to be filed by 1/31/22.”

For clarification Wierenga was then asked, “Since what you wrote is ‘generally speaking’ are there any exceptions other than what is written on that filing schedule? – ‘Officeholders whose salaries are less than $200/month and judges do not have to file this semi-annual statement if no contributions were received or expenditures were made during the period.’ If so, what are those exceptions, please?”

He responded, “the words on the schedule are… the words on the schedule. As for me saying ‘generally speaking’, it is because I/we are doing just that. We are not commenting on any one person or group or specific situation.”

Thorpe recall committee report filing as of April 19, 2022 at 5:45 pm. Source: City Clerk’s website screenshot.

Thorpe and each of the council members are paid $1,600 per month by the city in their positions.

4/21/22 UPDATE: To further clarify the FPPC’s position, on Thursday, April 21, Wierenga wrote, “I, we (the FPPC) are not accusing anyone publicly (or even privately) of violating the law. ONLY an investigation by the proper investigative agency (which is the FPPC Enforcement Division, which investigates complaints, alleged violations, etc. or occasionally a District Attorney or the Attorney General’s Office, both of which also have jurisdiction under the Political Reform Act as it is State law) can legally determine a violation.”

Questions for Thorpe, Householder Go Unanswered, Still No Report Posted

On Monday, April 18 at 5:51 p.m. Wieringa’s emails were forward to Thorpe and Householder. They were asked, “Have you filed it, yet? As of today, it’s not on the city’s website. Just the 410 form. Campaign Finance Statements – City of Antioch, California (antiochca.gov) If so, and it’s just not yet uploaded, can one of you please provide me a copy?”

Thorpe was asked specifically, “If not, when will you be filing it?”

No responses were received as of Tuesday, April 19 at 5:45 PM. As of that time Thorpe’s recall committee form 460 was still not on the city clerk’s campaign finance statements page of the city’s website.

4/25/22 UPDATE: According to a resident who chose to remain anonymous, at least two and possibly three complaints have been filed with the FPPC Enforcement Division. One was filed on April 11 with ID# COM-04112022-01033 and another on April 16 with ID# COM-04172022-01087. To file a complaint visit https://fppc.ca.gov/enforcement/electronic-complaint-system.html.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

the attachments to this post:


FPPC Filing Schedule


2021_07_LCL_Officeholders_Not_on_Ballot


Stop the #KAREN Recall of Lamar Thorpe 2022 Form 410 SOS_001_Page_1


Stop the #KAREN Recall of Lamar Thorpe 2022 Form 410 SOS_001_Page_2


FPPC logo


Thorpe for Mayor 2020_460_7121 to 123121


Thorpe Recall Committee report filing as of 4-19-22 545pm


Thorpe 410 from SOS_001


No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply

vanir-areosystyle