Staff at the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board notified the Fourth Congressional District Republican Party that allegations made in a complaint filed against State Senator Susan Kent (DFL-Woodbury) warrant further investigation by the board.
Jim Carson, the chair of the Fourth Congressional District Republican Party, filed a complaint last week about a debt from Kent's 2012 campaign. Carson alleges a $35,000 debt to a printer for campaign literature for Kent's campaign "disappeared from the 2013 report without any explanation."
In a letter to Carson from Kyle Fischer, a legal analyst for the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, Fischer wrote "staff plan to recommend that the Board find that the complaint alleges a prima facie violation of chapter 10A."
Carson said tonight he was "gratified that Minnesota's campaign watchdog agency is taking this seriously."
Kent disputes the allegations made in the complaint and last week described the confusion over the payment to the printer as a "data entry issue."
In response to a request for a comment this evening, Kent wrote the "discrepancy was purely an accounting and software error." Kent added her campaign is working with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board and an updated campaign finance report will be "online as soon as possible."
The board still needs to ratify the recommendation of staff that a prima facie violation exists before setting a date for a formal hearing. If the board recommends investigating the complaint, a formal hearing will be held within 45 days.
Below is the letter to Carson from the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.