Everett mayor election complaint investigation ongoing

The campaign finance watchdog is looking into the circumstances surrounding a $10,000 donation.

EVERETT — The money is spent and its recipient is out of the mayor’s race.

But staff of the state’s campaign finance watchdog still are looking into the circumstances surrounding a $10,000 donation Brian Sullivan received from the 38th Legislative District Democrats for his primary campaign.

A complaint filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission in April alleged the Everett Firefighters Local 46 made a $10,500 donation to the Democratic Party group and wanted most of it given to Sullivan’s campaign. The complainant, Jackie Pryor, asserted the party organization was thus required to report the money it gave Sullivan as an earmarked contribution.

Victor Harris, the group’s finance chairman, has said the contribution was properly disclosed. In a response to the complaint, he said money for the contribution came out of the group’s treasury, which had around $14,000 at the time.

Commission staff are still in the initial phase of review known as an assessment of facts. They have not determined if anything is amiss.

“At this point there is no estimated time for a decision,” said Kim Bradford, the commission’s communications and outreach director. “Our hope is to have a decision done on the complaint in the next few weeks but I cannot guarantee it because of the volume of work the staff is handling.”

There were 55 new complaints filed with the commission between Aug. 24 and Sept. 27, according to a report presented to commissioners Thursday.

So far this year, 543 new cases have been initiated. The number of individual complaints might be less because one complaint can lead to the opening of multiple cases depending on the allegations, Bradford said.

As of Thursday, 343 cases still lacked a resolution including the one involving the Everett Democratic group.

In the meantime Sullivan, a Snohomish County Councilman, finished third in the Aug. 1 primary behind Judy Tuohy and Cassie Franklin. He’s since endorsed Tuohy as have the firefighter and Democratic Party organizations. And the firefighter union also contributed $1,000 to her campaign this month.

The election is Nov. 7 and ballots will be mailed Oct. 19.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.

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