Scottsdale mayoral candidate Bob Usdane might be slapped with a campaign violation for not reporting a $35,500 loan to his campaign war chest.
The former state senator lent his campaign the money without notifying his three mayoral rivals by certified mail within 24 hours, as required by Arizona campaign finance Law.
City Clerk Carolyn Jagger and the City Attorney’s Office determined "reasonable cause exists to believe that there has been a violation" of state law, according to a letter addressed to Usdane on Monday.
Usdane said he made the mistake unintentionally. He is running against Mayor Mary Manross, City Councilman David Ortega and former Councilwoman Cynthia Lukas in the March 9 general election.
"We’re doing everything we could to make it right," said Usdane, who had his attorney, John Gordon, submit notice of the loan to the clerk’s office Monday. "I made the mistake. . . . I saw my fault, and my attorney is researching it."
Candidates who lend more than $14,070 to their own campaigns must notify their opponents so that individual or group donation restrictions of $350 maximum can be lifted.
Penalties could include fines up to $1,000, said City Attorney Joe Bertoldo.
Coreen Young, a volunteer for Lukas’ campaign, discovered the error Friday and brought it to the attention of the City Clerk Carolyn Jagger and Usdane.
"He believes that a simple ‘I’m sorry’ is satisfactory," Young said.
Bertoldo has asked another city attorney, whom he would not identify, to review Usdane’s action and make a judgment.
"These are people I may potentially or perspectively have to work with so it wouldn’t be appropriate" for him to make the ruling, Bertoldo said.
Young is urging voters to reprimand Usdane by not voting for him. She claims Usdane is trying to "manipulate" the election by putting his opponents at a financial disadvantage.
Usdane made his loan Feb. 17, which Young said would have given Lukas, Manross and Ortega nine days to raise more money. They filed their campaign finance reports with the city clerk by last Thursday’s deadline. The next reports must be filed by April 8.