Sterling Tucker, former chairman of the District of Columbia City Council, faces a hearing and possible fine for failure to file a financial report on his unsuccessful campaign for mayor, the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance reported yesterday.
Tucker currently is serving as a $182-a-day consultant to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is being considered for a presidential appointment as assistant HUD secretary for fair housing and equal employment.
He left office as council chairman Jan. 2 after losing a three-way Democratic primary election campaign to Mayor Marion Barry and former Mayor Walter E. Washington.
Tucker's campaign organization filed an interim report Oct. 10, about a month after the primary, but failed to meet a Dec. 10 deadline for another report. A final report is due Jan. 31.
The Oct. 10 report showed that Tucker had spent $361,363 on the mayoral campaign and owed debts of $51,013. Tucker said yesterday that he was unable to confirm that the actual debt is about $100,000.
One capaign worker, saying he is owed a debt of several thousand dollars, told a reporter he plans to sue the Tucker campaign. The worker's purported debt was not listed on the Oct. 10 report.
Tucker said he was aware of the situation, but said many election workers "realize what a campaign is like -- they are in it for the love of it, and they want to make contributions, too."
His lawyer, Woodrow Boggs, said commercial debts owed by the campaign organization have been settled generally at 25 cents on the dollar.
Boggs said he was recently assigned by Tucker to conclude campaign activities, and discovered that the Dec. 10 report had not been filed. He said the campaign organization "fell apart" after the Sept. 12 defeat as workers moved to other pursuits.
Speaking of the campaign debt, he said "nobody is going to give any money to somebody who has lost."
Boggs said he expects to file a final report next week. Tucker said he does not expect the situation to affect his possible HUD nomination.
Lindell Tinsley, deputy director of the Office of Campaign Finance, a branch of the Board of Elections and Ethics, said Tucker's campaign organiation faces a hearing and possible fine for failure to file the Dec. 10 report.
Violation of the election law is a civil rather than criminal matter, Tinsley said, and the fine after the first week of failure to file amounts to $4 a day. At that rate, the campaign organization would currently owe about $120 for the delay in filing. No hearing date has been set.