Campaign officials working on the 1984 reelection campaign for D.C. City Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) repeatedly violated campaign finance laws, according to a report to be issued today by the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance.
The report, according to a source familiar with its contents, alleges that Jarvis' campaign accepted more than 72 contributions over the $400 limit allowed by law, improperly made out checks to cash and allowed Woodrow Boggs Jr., the campaign manager, to write checks that should only have been issued by the campaign treasurer.
Jarvis, who has been considering a bid for mayor this year, attacked the report in an interview last night. She called Keith Vance, director of the Office of Campaign Finance, "a hired hand of the mayor's" and said, "I will not have my professional integrity questioned by a public official who clearly makes decisions that are politically skewed.
"I would invite him to pursue with equal vigor the clear conflicts of interest that have been evidenced by members of the mayor's administration," Jarvis said.
Violations of the campaign finance act can be punished by up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine, according to a city campaign finance official, who asked that he not be named. A campaign official who knowingly files false information with the campaign finance office faces a stiffer penalty of up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, the official said.
Vance is expected to ask the three-member Board of Elections and Ethics to review the report. If the board agrees that Jarvis' campaign violated the law, it can refer the case to the U.S. attorney's office for possible prosecution.
According to sources familiar with the report, it alleges that Jarvis' campaign returned some but not all of 72 payments that exceeded the $400 limit for individual contributions to a campaign for the D.C. Council.
One source said Jarvis submitted an affidavit yesterday saying that she authorized Boggs to issue checks instead of her campaign treasurer. But the source said those checks were still improper. Boggs could not be reached for comment last night.
Vance said last night that his office has issued four reports since October 1984 alleging violations and that Jarvis has had a chance to respond and challenge each report.
Last month, his office fined Jarvis and her 1984 reelection campaign $500 for failing to file a Jan. 31 campaign committee report despite repeated warnings. Staff writer Joe Pichirallo contributed to this report.