Bell fined daily for delinquent finance report

November 01, 1995|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF

Lawrence A. Bell III, the Democratic nominee for president of the Baltimore City Council, is being fined $20 a day until he files his latest campaign finance report, a state election official said yesterday.

Mr. Bell is the only one among three Republican and three Democratic candidates for citywide offices of mayor, council president and comptroller who failed to meet Friday's filing deadline.

"It'll be in [today,]" Mr. Bell, a 4th District councilman, said after being questioned about the missing document.

Mr. Bell -- considered a shoo-in against GOP candidate Anthony Cobb in Tuesday's general election in a city where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans 9-1 -- offered no explanations for his lateness in filing the report detailing campaign donations and expenditures.

"I won't say anything. What can I say?" he said.

Mr. Bell faces a fine of $20 a day for the first six days, and $10 a day after that, up to a maximum of $250, said Rebecca M. Wicklund, director of campaign finances for the state election board.

The two-term councilman has missed deadlines for filing campaign reports four times in the past three years, Ms. Wicklund said, and has been fined $670 for previous overdue reports.

Asked about what he would do to correct his pattern of tardiness, Mr. Bell said, "We are constantly professionalizing our campaign apparatus. As we have more resources, we'll have more paid staff in the future, which makes all these things easier."

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