Legislative Candidate Fined For Misusing Public Campaign Funds`

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AUGUSTA, Maine --A Democrat from Casco has been fined $2,750 for using money from Maine's Clean Election fund for resort accommodations and business advertising during his unsuccessful campaign for the state House of Representatives.

The Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices fined Thomas Bossie for violations that occurred during his 2006 campaign in House District 101, which was won by Republican incumbent Rep. Richard Cebra.

Bossie accepted the fine and decided not to contest the commission's finding. He also apologized for making "the biggest mistakes of my life."

The commission said Bossie spent state funds provided through the taxpayer-financed Clean Election Act inappropriately, failed to return unspent money on time, mixed personal and state funds, and failed to accurately report expenditures.

The largest portion of the penalty, $1,250, was for spending state campaign funds for purposes unrelated to his campaign. That included restaurant and convenience store purchases, accommodations at a resort, and advertising to promote his business as a mortgage broker, according to a memo sent to Bossie in April from Jonathan Wayne, the commission's executive director.

The penalty also included a $750 fine for failing to return all unspent campaign funds by state deadlines, $500 for failing to accurately report campaign expenditures and $250 for mixing campaign and personal funds.

The commission could have fined Bossie $10,000 for each of the four violations.

Of the 313 legislative candidates who relied on public financing during the 2006 campaign, only five were cited for mishandling Clean Election funds, said Wayne. Of those five who owed the state money that was unspent or misspent, four have paid it back.


See the article on Boston Globe website



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