|2/5/2015 2:35:00 PM|
North Branch mayoral campaign complaint accepted by state officials
by DENISE MARTINState officials charged with reviewing campaign law violations have accepted North Branch Mayor Kirsten Hagen Kennedy’s complaint.
Any information related to the complaint must be submitted to the Office of Administrative Hearings panel by February 17. The administrative law judges will have 14 days to resolve this with a number of options.
Mayor Kennedy was the subject of a postcard distributed only days before the election in November 2014. The printed information smeared her experience and character and it lacked the legally required disclaimer, as to who or what group originated the brochure and is responsible for its content.
Kennedy supporters investigated the materials and concluded that Charles Duncan would be named in the complaint as respondent.
In a teleconference February 3 the two submitted their information and the judges decided to move forward.
According to the OAH, Duncan did not argue any of the assertions. Both parties agree to waive additional hearings and have the panel decide based on the record and any submittals between now and Feb 17.
The judges may, after seeing all the evidence, dismiss the complaint, issue a reprimand, impose a civil fine of up to $5,000 or the administrative panel may refer the matter to the county attorney.
Mayor Kennedy filed a preliminary statement with the OAH in early January. The complaint could have been rejected as frivolous and the mayor assessed any state costs.