Ohio imposes no fine on county candidate

William Bateson, a former candidate for Hancock County commissioner, will face no fine following a recent determination by the Ohio Elections Commission, Columbus, that Bateson filed information late for campaign finance reports.

Hancock County Board of Elections filed a complaint last year with the state commission about Bateson’s campaign expense reports.

The state commission found that Bateson, an independent candidate, had filed information late, but imposed no fine, according to a commission spokesperson.

The commission will next meet on Sept. 28, after which a written “disposition” letter will be issued.

Bateson has said he submitted information to the commission about campaign expenses he paid with his personal credit card, rather than a check from the Committee to Elect William Bateson for Commissioner account. He submitted receipts for the expenses, and filed an addendum to two campaign finance reports.

The commission could have imposed a fine of up to $100 per day, according to the spokesperson, but Bateson’s status as a first-time office seeker was considered in the commission’s decision.

The issue has been ongoing since October 2016. Commission action was delayed until this month because the commission was short several members and had to wait for Gov. John Kasich to make appointments.

Incumbent Mark Gazarek won the race for the commissioner seat in the November 2016 election.


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