Friday, June 21, 2013

Tuesday Hearing On Campaign Finance Lawsuit Against Phoenix City Councilmmember Sal DiCiccio

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Mark Brain has set an expedited hearing for this coming Tuesday on a lawsuit filed against Phoenix City Councilmember Sal DiCiccio's terminated-yet-still-active anti-recall campaign committee and a personally-owned corporation.

KFYI Radio reported on the lawsuit yesterday, and notes that a complaint was also filed - by a resident of the city council district who recently made a contribution to DiCiccio's anti-recall campaign committee - with the Phoenix City Clerk, the Maricopa County Attorney, and the Arizona Secretary of State.  The hearing may not have appeared on the Court's docket until today.

The Complaint focuses on an anti-recall campaign committee which DiCiccion set up in 2011.  After the recall effort fizzled, the committee transferred more than $120,000 in surplus funds to a corporation that DiCiccio set up.  Although the committee filed termination papers, it is allegedly still active and accepting donations, and the corporation is allegedly using monies for campaign purposes.

Plaintiffs claim that there are numerous violations of Arizona campaign finance law.  Arizona statute A.R.S. 16-915.01 is at the heart of that complaint.  Section A delineates several options for properly disbursing surplus campaign funds, but ends with a catch-all "any other lawful manner."  However, Section B restricts the use of surplus monies and indicates that it cannot be used for the personal use of the candidate (or family).

Plaintiffs claim that the corporation which received the surplus monies is owned and controlled by the DiCiccios.

In the KFYI article, Mr. DiCiccio responds to the complaints by saying that his corporation "followed the law to the letter and disclosed donors."  He says that the complaints represent the "Government Union Bosses" continuing to try to intimidate him and to "deflect (from) the illegal activity of Campaign for Better Neighborhoods that have been attacking me personally."

Arizona's Politics has asked for further responses from both Coucilmember DiCiccio and his challenger in the August election, Karlene Keogh Parks, and will update as warranted.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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