Campaign finance reports probed in Baltimore County

State prosecutor says data from two officials overdue

September 17, 2004|By Andrew A. Green | Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF

The state prosecutor's office is investigating overdue campaign finance reports from two Baltimore County councilmen, both of whom say they are working to correct the problem.

Councilman Kenneth N. Oliver, a Randallstown Democrat, said his campaign manager recently received a letter from the prosecutor alerting him to a missing campaign finance report and outstanding fines from late 2002 and early last year.

Councilman John A. Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, said he received a letter from the prosecutor about a missing report and outstanding fine from late 2002.

Both men said they had problems with their campaign treasurers at the time. In Olszewski's case, his treasurer pleaded guilty last year to stealing more than $62,000 in campaign funds.

Oliver said he recently fired his campaign manager and hired a new one, who is working to complete the report.

"It's being taken care of," Oliver said.

Olszewski said he believes his new treasurer filed the required report and that a clerical error might explain why it is not showing up in state records. He said his attorney is investigating and that he will make sure he is in compliance with the campaign finance law.

"I think it's a misunderstanding," he said.

Candidates are fined up to $250 for late reports. But if a campaign chairman or treasurer is found to have "knowingly and willfully" failed to file, after several warnings, he or she can be fined up to $25,000 and imprisoned for up to a year.

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