The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance is investigating evident discrepancies among signatures on campaign finance reports filed by City Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4), officials said yesterday.
Keith Vance, director of the office, confirmed yesterday that the office was looking into questions about the signatures of Helena R. Henderson, the treasurer of record for the Committee to Re-Elect Charlene Drew Jarvis.
"If you look at the different reports, the signatures are different," Vance said, but declined to state what conclusions his office has drawn about the apparent discrepancies. Asked if Henderson had been contacted, he replied that "we have made the appropriate inquiries."
A 1984 report for one of Jarvis' committees has a signature that was misspelled as "H.R. Henerdson" in a small, tight hand. Other reports are signed "Helena Henderson" in a large, flowing script. One report signed with the larger script has initials that appear to be "dd" next to the signature.
Vance is preparing to issue the results of audits of three continuing Jarvis committees: the one formed for her 1984 reelection campaign, one for her mayoral bid in 1982 and a constituent service fund.
Jarvis said in a statement that the campaign office's probe was politically motivated.
"Continual questions about my campaign committee reports are clearly politically inspired by someone who would like me to yield politically. I won't," she said.
Jarvis has been considering running for mayor or for City Council chairman this year, and has suggested in the past that the audits of her committees may be an attempt to keep her campaign workers tied up answering questions so they could not focus on a new campaign.
A spokeswoman for Jarvis said the person authorized to discuss campaign committee reports is Woodrow Boggs Jr., chairman of the reelection committee and Jarvis' campaign manager in 1984.
Attempts to reach Boggs yesterday were unsuccessful. Henderson, reached at home, declined to discuss the matter.
Vance has said Jarvis' committees have repeatedly been late in filing reports, and that the reports have contained discrepancies. He began audits of all three committees last year.
The campaign finance office fined Jarvis' reelection committee $500 last month for failing to file a Jan. 31, 1986, report on time. The committee has paid the fine.
Campaign committees must report periodically to the office of campaign finance until their debts and obligations are erased and the committees are dissolved.
The District's campaign finance law requires that the treasurer of a continuing political campaign committee file a notarized report of receipts and expenditures on Jan. 31 each year, as well as on six other dates during election years and on July 31 in nonelection years, according to a campaign finance office publication. The office can assess a fine of up to $500 for each violation of the law.
Jarvis sent Vance's office a Jan. 31 report last month, signed by Boggs as chairman in place of the treasurer and not notarized. In a letter accompanying the report, Jarvis said that she had informed Vance's office last October that Henderson no longer had access to financial records.
Vance replied that his office received no such notification but that in any event a change of treasurer requires a joint certification from the treasurer and the chairman of the committee, a letter of resignation from the old treasurer and a statement of organization by a new one