CM Yvette Alexander fined $4,000 by OCF for misuse of constituent funds

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Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander was fined $4,000 by the Office of Campaign Finance, related to the findings that “Councilmember Alexander’s Constituent Services Fund (CSF) made an expenditure for campaign activities; and that her Constituent Services Program (CSP) failed to report certain expenditures on required quarterly reports, both in violation of the D.C. Campaign Finance Reform and Conflict of Interest Act. A fine of $4,000 was imposed for these violations.”

It appears that Alexander was acquitted of responsibility for the most serious charges levied against her in the complaint, but some of the more minor charges, which include using $300 from her constituent services funds to pay for robocalls for her campaign, still cost the council member’s campaign $4,000 in fines.

Alexander joins several other members of the City Council on the wrong side of scandals this year.

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One thought on “CM Yvette Alexander fined $4,000 by OCF for misuse of constituent funds

  1. (This was posted on the Ward 7 Listserv by Jeri Washington who filed the complaint on behalf of the residents.)

    OCF – This is recommended so as not to deplete the current balance of Councilmember Alexander’s CSF, in view of the fact that the intended purpose of the CSF is to benefit the residents of the District of Columbia and to promote their general welfare.

    Dear Ward 7 Neighbors,

    A slap on the wrist! The saying “God looks out for babies and fools” is truly manifested in the unsurprising findings of the released Office of Campaign Finance investigation of Councilmember Yvette Alexander’s alleged misappropriation of constituent services funds. I find media headlines screaming, “cleared but fined,” paradoxically illogical. I am reminded of the very day, (April Fools’ Day), I filed our complaint with OCF. I mentally recorded my exchange with Jean Diggs, senior hearing officer, about OCF’s order against Council Chairman Kwame Brown. I stated the media reported that Brown, though fined, had been cleared of any wrongdoing. She replied, “You never heard “us” say that. We don’t clear with fines.” During that talk, I also made it Deer Park water clear that given the agency’s reputation for being a chained, toothless barking dog, I had only a pinch of faith this matter would be sufficiently explored and I inquired what course of action was available should we find the results anemic.

    Howbeit, Alexander should not be so quick in turning somersaults at the mere mention of “cleared.” Now “exonerated” is worth chancing some Ringling Barnum&Bailey death-defying acrobatics. While the probe claims to have found no violations of the most serious allegations, still the possible penalties of the less offensive charges, by OCF’s own admision, would have bankrupt and shuttered Alexander’s constituent services fund. According to OCF, an examination of cancelled checks drawn on Councilmember Alexander’s Constituent Services Fund at Industrial Bank revealed nineteen (19) checks, totaling in excess of $4,700, which were not reported on a required Report of Receipts and Expenditures for Citizen-Service Program (R&E) form. The checks were issued during the period October 2007 through July 2009. Consequently, we conclude that Councilmember Alexander’s Constituent Services Fund violated the statute by failure to report certain expenditures on required R&E reports. Accordingly, the fund could be subject to a fine of $38,000 for this violation. Who said DC government employees lack compassion? Out of concern for the well-being of our destitute neighbors and Alexander’s “poor and needy” constituents, the nineteen infractions were bundled as one and a lonesome $2000 fine was levied. And we thought Casey Anthony got away with murder!

    While I won’t address here the inconsistencies, untimeliness, and overall remedial presentation of the report which calls into question the level of competence and diligence expended on this investigation, I intend to vociferously express my outrage to OCF directly. I would rather “clear” the air on some far more serious allegations I “find” to be more grave and deleterious to the Ward 7 populace. Clearly, I have a few suggestions Alexander may find helpful.

    Though you may think the coast is clear, indeed no way are you in the clear. How do you have a clear conscience knowing our schools, incubators of a free and appropriate education, under your lack of leadership, continue to operate at a clear disadvantage compared to schools elsewhere in the city? That too few of our impoverished residents for lack of healthcare services can boast of being free and clear of communicable social diseases such as HIV/AIDS? That our precious seniors must steer clear of venturing out of their homes for lack of protection from predators who rob, steal, and kill for lack of employment because they can’t bring home the bacon or a clear check? That currently Ward 7 has but two and a half sitdown restaurants because your lack of business savvy and acumen does not clear the way for economic development in our neighborhoods? It is yet baffling how we, your constituents in the wake of the redistricting debaucle, said to you loud and clear, stand up and fight for us lest we’ll be Jack-and-Gerrymandered east of the Anacostia River and you did not. Councilwoman Alexander, it is as clear as the nose on your face that you have managed with ease to stay clear of your responsibilities and obligations to the residents of this ward. If you don’t endeavor to clear up soon your mounting missteps, any viable challenger to your re-election will be more than a clear and present danger and sadly, you may have to clear out.

    I hope I’ve made myself “clear.”

    Be blessed, Ward 7. Oh what a wonderful morning, looks like it’s going to be a clear day!