Ferreras-Copeland fined $6,000 for campaign finance violations made by her 2013 political committee

Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland is one of three reported leading candidates to succeed Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito as speaker of the New York City Council.

By LOUIS FLORES

The municipal campaign finance regulatory authority, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, has fined the 2013 committee to reëlect Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-Corona) $5,718 in penalties for eight different violations of City campaign finance laws and regulations. 

The determination that violations had occurred and the approval of the fines were adopted at a meeting of the Campaign Finance Board on Friday. The 2013 campaign committees of 13 other political candidates were also determined to have violated campaign finance laws, and those campaign committees were also fined, including the committee to elect Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-New York City) and the committee to reëlect Councilmember Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica). The written determinations and the calculations of the corresponding fines for all 14 campaign committees were published online by the Campaign Finance Board.

The office of Councilmember Ferreras-Copeland did not answer a request made by Progress Queens for an interview for this article.

Failure to report sizeable transactions

Of the eight violations that were determined to have been made by Councilmember Ferreras-Copeland's campaign committee, three violations pertained the failure of the campaign committee to report sizeable transactions : (i) the campaign committee's failure to report "transactions totaling $23,538 that appeared on its bank statements" ; (ii) the campaign committee's failure to report monetary receipts that were calculated to be $5,756.02 ; and (iii) the campaign committee's failure to report $28,111.99 in disbursements.

Administrative code dictates that if a candidate or a candidate's committee is unable to pay any fines or penalties, then the campaign committee's treasurer becomes liable for payment under a legal concept known as joint and several liability. See Admin. Code §3-711(1). According to online Campaign Finance Board records, Guiyermo DeJesus served as treasurer of Councilmember Ferreras-Copeland's 2013 committee to reëlect.

Councilmember Ferreras-Copeland is chair of the New York City Council committee on finance, said to be the municipal legislature's most powerful committee, which weighs in on matters pertaining to the negotiation of the annual City budget, including the power to hold City Council hearings about the annual City budget.

Councilmember Ferreras-Copeland has been identified by the political analysis Web site, City Council Watch, as one of three leading contenders to succeed Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Harlem) as the next speaker of the New York City Council.

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