D.C. City Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) filed documents yesterday with the Office of Campaign Finance to open a new constituent service fund, but did not give an accounting of any of the money she received during the five years since she closed her first constituent fund.
Last Friday, Woodrow Boggs, the chairman of Jarvis' 1984 council re-election campaign and her 1982 mayoral campaign, said that he would file a report on Monday that would answer "any questions" about Jarvis' finance records.
But yesterday, Boggs only filed registration documents for the new constituent service fund, established at Security National Bank. The documents authorize three persons to make payments or withdrawals in connection with the fund -- Helena Henderson, the treasurer of Jarvis' past two campaigns, Yvonne Cooper, who has been an aide to Jarvis, and Boggs.
Although Jarvis' first constituent service fund, used for expenses related to her council duties, was officially closed with the submission of a 1980 report, D.C. campaign finance director Keith Vance discovered that Jarvis had received contributions to a constituent service fund while reviewing Jarvis' 1982 and 1984 campaign finance reports.
In a letter sent to Jarvis on Friday, Vance gave the council member 15 days to file reports for the last five years. "The office of Campaign Finance intends to take no action against you until you have had a reasonable opportunity to respond to this letter," Vance wrote.
Boggs eluded reporters who were waiting to talk to him after he filed the documents with Vance's office. He could not be reached later for comment.
By law, city council members are required to file periodic reports of contributions to and expenditures from their constituent service funds. The funds are used for such things as making contributions to community service groups and sponsoring programs and activities for constituents.
Eleven of the 13 council members, including Jarvis, have constituent service funds. Jarvis is the only member who has not complied with filing regulations, according to Vance. Council members Hilda Mason (Statehood-At Large) and Polly Shackleton (D-Ward 3) have not established constituent service funds.
Jarvis acknowledged in an interview on Friday that she has a constituent service committee but declined to answer questions about why no reports had been filed for five years. Boggs had tried to reopen Jarvis' old constituent service fund in August but Vance rejected the request, saying that Jarvis had to open a new fund.
Vance's office discovered that some political action committees had contributed money to a Jarvis constituent service fund during his office's audit of Jarvis' 1982 and 1984 finance reports.
A preliminary review by Vance's office showed that Jarvis' finance records did not include the addresses and occupations of all of her contributors. The office also found some discrepancies when it cross-checked contributions made to Jarvis' 1984 campaign with other records on file in Vance's office.
For example, the preliminary review found that the D.C. Commerce and Industry Political Action Committee contributed $9,450, most of it from fundraisers, to Jarvis' 1984 campaign in August and September 1984. However, Jarvis' committee reported receiving $7,550 less than the PAC had reported giving.
After Vance pointed out this discrepancy, the Jarvis committee reported the additional $7,550 in a subsequent filing.
Vance said that a full audit of Jarvis' 1982 and 1984 campaign finance records is being conducted because there are still some unanswered questions.