The D.C. Office of Campaign Finance fined Mayor Anthony A. Williams $1,000 yesterday for failing to disclose $40,000 he received from two consulting contracts during the 1998 mayoral campaign and his transition into office.
Cecily E. Collier-Montgomery, director of the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, issued an order saying that Williams violated a D.C. campaign finance code by failing to report earnings on his financial disclosure statement last year.
"While it was found that Mr. Williams's failure to timely file his FDS was not deliberate but due to 'an oversight [that occurred] during the whirlwind of his mayoral campaign,' the office cannot minimize this matter because of the strong public policy concerning disclosure," the order said. "Therefore, the maximum penalties were imposed."
Williams issued a statement saying he was "wrong" not to disclose his earnings and would pay the $1,000 fine with his own money.
"I'd like to thank the Office of Campaign Finance for its prompt and thorough examination of my financial disclosure statements," he said. "As I have stated, my inadvertent failure to disclose the fact of my outside employment earlier than I did was wrong. I accept the decision of the director of the Office of Campaign Finance.
"My wife and I will be issuing a check to the District for the $1,000 civil penalty," Williams said. "I look forward to continuing my work to improve the District of Columbia and with the help of District residents, we will make this happen."
The decision to fine Williams came a week after Williams submitted his personal bank records to the Office of Campaign Finance during a closed-door hearing at which he responded to a charge that he violated city law. The order said that Williams was required "to modify his FDS on or before Sept. 30, 1998, to report his receipt of income from Arthur Andersen Company on August 31, 1998; and on or before October 9, 1998, to report his income from NationsBank Inc. on September 9, 1998."
Both Arthur Andersen and NationsBank were transacting business with the District government at the same time that Williams received income for services rendered to them. The firms paid Williams a total of $40,000 for consulting services that began last summer while he was campaigning for mayor and concluded in December after he became mayor-elect.
Williams, who had to resign his $118,000-a-year post as the city's chief financial officer to run for mayor, has said he accepted the contracts because he needed the money "to put bread on the table."
During the campaign, Williams complained that he was the only candidate forced to quit his job. But he never acknowledged during the campaign that officials with the Greater Washington Board of Trade and Arthur Andersen had helped him secure outside income, starting last June.
The records submitted to the campaign finance office showed that Arthur Andersen paid Williams a lump sum of $30,000 on Aug. 31 but that the money was not deposited into his bank account until Dec. 21. Williams's aides said the mayor did not want to deposit it until he was sure his work was completed.
The Arthur Andersen documents show that Williams was paid for giving one speech at an annual gathering and attended 10 more meetings, including one where he taught a course to senior consultants on client relationships. The paperwork also shows that Williams appeared for Arthur Andersen at a chief executive officers' round table for a special edition of Fortune magazine.
Williams has said that he has a social relationship with Ira Goldstein, a senior partner with Arthur Andersen.
The documents also show that NationsBank paid Williams $2,000 a month from August through December. The last invoice was dated Jan. 4, two days after Williams was sworn in as mayor. Williams has acknowledged that he attended one luncheon meeting and was not required to submit any written reports in his work for the bank.
CAPTION: Mayor Anthony A. Williams, who received a total of $40,000 from two companies, said he accepted the contracts "to put bread on the table."