Campaign finance complaint targets Gilbert mayor - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Campaign finance complaint targets Gilbert mayor

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Posted: Monday, June 2, 2008 6:29 pm | Updated: 12:07 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

The chairman of a political committee formed to push a recall of Gilbert Mayor Steve Berman has filed a complaint with the town charging the mayor with violating state campaign finance laws.

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Fred Phillis, chairman of the End Corruption in Gilbert political committee, filed the complaint May 29. It claims Berman's campaign committee, Support Democracy - Support Mayor Berman, violated campaign finance laws because legally required paperwork was not filed, or was not filled out correctly.

In the complaint, Phillis calls the deficient paperwork a "fatal defect" under state law.

Phillis also charges that Berman's campaign Web site, www.mayorberman.com, fails to carry mandatory "paid for by" disclosure information.

"The law says you don't have to put 'paid for' on everything if it's empirically obvious who it's for," Berman said. He said the "paid for" label was placed on the Web site once he learned of the complaint.

"Any mistakes that were made, I'll certainly pay for," Berman said.

Last week's complaint comes after Berman's campaign manager, Daryl Colvin, filed a complaint against Phillis' group charging that the recall committee violated campaign finance laws by spending money on "Recall Mayor Berman" signs before actually filing required paperwork with the town clerk. That case was sent to an outside lawyer, who imposed a $1,391 fine against Phillis' committee.

Town officials have forwarded Phillis' complaint to that same attorney, David A. Pennartz, to investigate the claim.

"We demand that the town pursue the complaint against Berman and Colvin in precisely the same manner as it pursued the complaint against End Corruption in Gilbert committee, using the same outside attorney and applying the identical standards and interpretations of the law," the complaint states.

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