Saugus Union School District office. Dan Watson/The Signal

Saugus Board member fined for late campaign filings

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) fined Saugus Union School District Board Member Judy Umeck $800 for failing to timely file hard copies of four semiannual campaign statements from her successful 2013 campaign.

However, Umeck said she did file her campaign statements on time, but that she faxed the documents instead of mailing them.

“I was fined because I faxed them over and we thought we had mailed a hard copy in as well and they didn’t receive the hard copy,” Umeck said.  “When we became aware of it, we checked to find what happened and they said they never got a hard copy and we found out they didn’t get the mailed copy.”

The Sept. 21 agenda of the FPPC meeting states that Umeck’s campaign, “Judy Umeck for Saugus School Board 2013,” failed to file hard copies of its semiannual campaign statement from Jan. 1, 2014 through Dec. 31, 2014 and July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.

The FPPC charged $200 for each late campaign filing, totaling $800 for the four counts.

Umek’s matter was deemed a “streamline settlement,” a procedure established by the commission to address minor violations like Umeck’s, according to FPPC Communications Director Jay Wierenga.

“The streamline settlement program was instituted and approved by the commission a few years ago… to address more minor violations,” Wierenga said.  “These would be considered more minor violations.”

Umeck’s streamline settlement stated that she did file all statements, that she did not have more than $25,000 in contributions or expenditures during her campaign and that there was no evidence of intent to conceal her statements.

Because of this streamlined process, Umeck said she signed the FPPC stipulation, decision and order document and wrote her check to the FPPC months ago.

She also stated that the account used for her campaign has been “zeroed out” since after the election.

Umeck currently serves as Trustee Area 2 on the SUSD Governing Board.  She was first appointed to the board in October 1996 and is currently serving her fourth term on the school board.

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