Alfred files late; Carter required to amend form

Louisiana’s rules for disclosing campaign contributors and expenses will likely cost one candidate for Houma City Court Judge nearly $800 in fines, for not timely filing a report due early this month.

Another candidate filed on time, but neglected to include the required expenditure list, a condition that was corrected after she alerted Ethics Board staff. Because that filing was amended after immediate notice was given, an ethics board official said, no fine is likely.

Schriever attorney Randy Alfred’s Form 30P, which lists contributions received and expenses incurred for 30 days prior to a primary election, was due Oct. 6 but not filed until Sunday, Oct. 19. Alfred is one of three candidates seeking to replace retiring Houma City Court Judge Jude Fanguy. His opponents are former Juvenile Court prosecutors Matt Hagen and Cheryl Carter.

Hagen’s paperwork was filed in accordance with the deadline. Carter filed hers on time – actually a day early – but it did not include the list of expenditures. She amended her report on Oct. 16 to include the missing information.

Fred Duplechin, a retired counselor who is former administrator of the Lafourche Parish Drug Court, is Alfred’s campaign chairman, took responsibility during a phone call Monday for the gaffe, blaming lack of experience with campaigns and the process of reporting.

“I was rather naïve about the whole thing, and the frenzy of activities toward the end of the campaign resulted in an oversight,” said Duplechin, noting that candidates often have professional organizations handling their finances and filings.

A notification from the ethics board that the document was not filed had been sent by certified mail to Duplechin earlier in October, but he was unable to immediately redeem it due to Post Office difficulties, he said. Duplechin suggested that the ethics board should send reminders to candidates by e-mail prior to the filing dates to ensure that everyone has proper notice.

Carter neglected to include her expenditures, also through an oversight, but she called the board of ethics to inform them of the problem. She said she was then permitted to file an amended report.

Kathleen Allen, the Louisiana Board of Ethics administrator, said fines can be assessed in both situations. In a case such as Carter’s, it is difficult to say whether a fine will result. Alfred’s case could result in a fine of $60 per day for each day the filing was not made, an estimated total of $780.

So far Alfred has taken in $8,225 in contributions and loaned his campaign $4,630.73. He has spent $21,904.60, putting his campaign nearly $10,000 I the red.

Hagen has $50,750 in cash contributions, and $700 worth of in-kind contributions. He has spent $26,430.92.

Carter’s war-chest is the smallest, with a total of $4,000 in cash and $152.67 in-kind contributions.

Her expenses so far have totaled $9,836.67, with the deficit made up by a loan from her personal finances, according to reports.