Leidiger campaign treasurer slapped with a fine

Republican Rep. Ernie Leidiger’s, R-Mayer, campaign committee treasurer has been slapped with a fine for signing off on a financial disclosure report that omitted information.

The fine stems from a complaint filed with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board against Leidiger and his treasurer, Steven Nielsen, for using campaign contributions to pay for a $178 speeding ticket.

The complaint was filed with the campaign finance board in early March after blogs reported that the transportation expense was the same amount as the speeding ticket.

Leidiger’s end-of-the-year report for 2011 listed the payment as a non-campaign “transportation” payment to Hennepin County.

The campaign finance board investigated three aspects of the complaint: whether ticket was accurately described on the report, whether the transaction was properly characterized, and whether Nielsen signed the end-year report knowing it included incorrect information.

The Leidiger campaign resolved the first two aspects of the complaint by amending their year-end report.

But Nielsen will pay a $300 fine for knowingly signing an incorrect report.

The Board has no jurisdiction over whether paying a speeding ticket is an appropriate use of campaign cash. That’s up to the Office of Administrative Hearings to decide. The Minnesota DFL filed a similar complaint in March with the OHA, which is still in the process of deciding how to proceed on the matter.

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