City Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) has failed to file reports itemizing contributions to a fund normally used for expenses related to her official duties, according to the director of the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.
Keith A. Vance, director of the campaign finance office, said that finance records filed with his office show that Jarvis has received contributions to a constituent service fund in recent years, but that Jarvis' constituent fund was closed in 1980 and no reports have been filed for such a fund since then.
Vance said an aide to Jarvis tried to reactivate the fund last month, but that he denied the application because the law required that Jarvis set up a new fund rather than reopen the one closed five years ago.
Vance said he has informed Jarvis by letter that she is not complying with D.C. law and that she must give him an accounting of any money raised or spent in connection with a constituent service fund.
Jarvis acknowledged Friday in a telephone interview that she has a constituent service committee but declined to say who is on the committee or whether it has collected any funds.
"I'm going to chat with the committee to see what the problems are and the committee will act upon the suggestions of Mr. Vance," Jarvis said.
City Council members are allowed to set up two kinds of funds that must be registered with Vance's office: campaign funds, to be used in their political races, and constituent service funds, to be used to help their constituents in such ways as paying overdue rent bills or making contributions to nonprofit community groups.
Vance said his office discovered contributions to a Jarvis constituent service fund while reviewing Jarvis' campaign finance reports for her 1982 mayoral campaign and her 1984 council reelection campaign.
A year ago, Vance notified Jarvis that she had failed to file seven overdue campaign contribution reports. After Jarvis filed consolidated campaign reports, Vance announced last month that he would conduct an audit of Jarvis' campaign finance records because the reports she filed had insufficient detail about her finances. The audit began last week.
Woodrow Boggs, the chairman for Jarvis' 1982 and 1984 campaigns, said private accountants are reviewing records for Jarvis' campaign contributions and the constituent service fund and that a report will be submitted to Vance today. Boggs said that "any questions at all will be answered" by that report.
Boggs said he became involved with the constituent service fund on Sept. 3 in response to Vance's questions.
Ten of the 13 City Council members have constituent service funds registered with the campaign finance office that range in size from $23,280 (At Large Democrat John Ray) to $877 (Ward 6 Democrat Nadine Winter), according to July reports.
City Council member Hilda Mason (Statehood-At Large) said that she has never had a constituent service fund. A spokesman for Polly Shackleton (D-Ward 3) said she also has never had a constituent service fund.
Jarvis declined to provide details when asked about the fund Friday and declined to address why no constitutent service committee reports had been filed for the last five years.
A random review by The Washington Post of contributions from registered political action committees showed that several committees reported making contributions from 1981 through 1983 to Jarvis for a constituent service fund.
For example, the Hotel Organization To Elect Leaders reported giving $100 to Jarvis' constituent service fund in 1981, 1982 and 1983. The D.C. Bankers' political action committee reported giving $100 to the fund in July 1983, and the District of Columbia Political Action Committee reporting giving $200 to the fund in the same month.
Two persons familiar with fund-raising said that PACs, which are primarily established to fund political campaigns, contribute only a small portion of the money given to constituent service funds. Most contributions to constituent service funds come from individuals or corporations, both sources said