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Undocumented funds yield fine for Jennings

TimesLedger Newspapers

Former Democratic City Councilman Allan Jennings was penalized earlier this month by the city Campaign Finance Board for several violations committed by his campaign during the 2010 special election for the seat left vacant by the late Councilman Thomas White Jr.

Jennings served in the Council’s 28th District, covering the neighborhoods of Jamaica, South Jamaica, Richmond Hill and South Ozone Park, for one term from 2001-05 after White had been term-limited out of the seat he had represented since 1992.

White took the seat back in 2006 and served until 2010, when he lost a battle with cancer at the age of 71. Jennings lost his bid for the seat to current Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica).

After the CFB completed its audit of Jennings’ campaign, he was fined $2,493 for eight violations. He did not respond to a request for comment.

A $1,000 fine was levied against Jennings for failing to accurately report contributions to his campaign and expenditures. Jennings reported he had raised $23,513, about $5,000 of which his bank records could not properly account for. He also failed to submit documentation for more than $6,000 worth of the $24,458 in expenditures he reported to the board.

Other violations included failing to provide periodic bank statements for the entire year of 2011, failing to provide employer information for 25 of 49 contributions of more than $99 and making a $200 cash payment. The limit for cash payments is $100.

Jennings also made a cash withdrawal of $2,458, violating the rule prohibiting candidates from maintaining a petty cash fund of more than $500.

He was also penalized for failing to document a $2,000 loan he received and two $1,000 repayments. Jennings was fined for failing to respond to the board’s requests for records needed for the audit of his campaign.

Jennings lost the Democratic Party primary for Congress in June to U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica). He will challenge Meeks in the November general election on the Republican ticket.

The CFB has completed its audits of three candidates for the 2010 special election: Martha Butler, Nicole Paultre-Bell and Harpreet Toor. The board was still conducting audits of Wills’ campaign as well as those of Albert Baldeo and Charles Bilal for the special election.

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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