2009-12-23 - WRITTEN OPINIONS

2009-12-23. WRITTEN OPINIONS

GARY O. BARTLETT

Executive Director

Mailing Address:

P.O. BOX 27255

RALEIGH, NC 27611-7255

December 23, 2009

The Honorable Cary Dale Allred

4307 Sartin Rd.

Burlington, N.C. 27217

Re: Request for Interpretation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-278.16B 's Applicability to Expenditures by the Citizens for Cary Allred Political Committee; Advisory Opinion Pursuant to N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-278.23

Dear Rep. Allred:

You have requested authorization to make expenditures to reimburse yourself from the Cary Allred Political Committee for courts costs, a fine, a lawyer's fee and the fee for a limited driving privilege arising from a ticket for speeding on April 27, 2009 as you traveled to Raleigh from Burlington. Under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-278.16B, a campaign committee must use contributions only for the listed purposes. Two provisions of the statute identify applicable permissible expenditures:

2) Expenditures resulting from holding public office.

....

(7) Payment of any penalties against the candidate or candidate's campaign committee for violation of this Article [22A of Chapter 163] imposed by a board of elections or a court of competent jurisdiction.

The expenses you identify do not fall within either of these categories.

While travel expenses that result from holding public office would be permissible expenses, these are not such expenses. These are costs associated with a charge for a violation of the law. While it was necessary for you as a legislator to travel to Raleigh from your home, it was not necessary for you to do so in a manner that violated the law. Nor were the fine and court costs penalties assessed for violation of the campaign finance laws such that they would be permissible expenditures under (7) above.

For these reasons, it is my opinion that the reimbursement you request from your political committee is not authorized by N.C. Gen. Stat. § 163-278.16B.

This opinion is based upon the information provided in your letter of November 19. If the information should change, you should evaluate whether this opinion is still applicable and binding. Finally, this opinion will be filed with the Codifier of Rules to be published unedited in the North Carolina Register and the North Carolina Administrative Code.

Sincerely,

Gary O. Bartlett

Executive Director

cc: Julian Mann, III, Codifier of Rules

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