Loudoun Board of Supervisors Chairman Dale Polen Myers (R-At Large) paid a $1,000 fine to end an investigation into her failure to report a voter survey as a non-cash contribution to her reelection campaign, prosecutors announced yesterday.
The deal ends a four-month inquiry by a special prosecutor into whether Myers violated state law by failing to include a telephone survey conducted by the political action committee Local Business Alliance of Virginia as a campaign donation.
Henrico County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Wade A. Kizer, who was appointed special prosecutor to handle the case, called the agreement a "good resolution." Kizer said yesterday that Myers should have reported at least part of the survey's value as an in-kind contribution, but he did not pursue criminal charges because he could not prove that the omission was intentional.
Several of the 27 questions on the survey, conducted Jan. 19, dealt with voter views on growth and economic development, Kizer said. The alliance spent about $4,400 on the survey, according to Richard McCary, an alliance official who doubled as Myers's campaign manager .
Also as part of the agreement to drop the investigation, Myers has filed an amended report with the county's Board of Elections, listing the survey as a $500 in-kind contribution from the alliance.
At issue was whether Myers was required to list the survey as a contribution because the results of the poll--which included questions about candidates and about issues such as growth and education--were given to her by McCary.
State law requires candidates to report in-kind contributions of goods or services, as well as monetary contributions, on their financial reports.
Yesterday, Myers called the investigation "a blatant political effort" to force her from the race for reelection. The investigation was sparked by a complaint filed in May by the campaign manager for Supervisor Scott K. York (R-Sterling), who successfully challenged her in May's GOP primary for board chairman.
"I did nothing wrong," Myers said yesterday in a prepared statement. "There was no willful violation of any campaign regulation."
Myers, who has reentered the race as an independent, said she chose to pay the civil fine so she could concentrate on her fall campaign. "I just wanted it ended," Myers said. "I wanted to get it behind me because this has been dragging on."
The survey became a heated issue in the primary contest between Myers and York that centered largely on growth and development. York contended that the alliance could have been used to funnel developers' donations to Myers. Myers denied the complaint.
Kizer said Myers could have used the poll results to shape campaign strategy. But he said he could not "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that she "willfully" neglected to include the survey in campaign filings.
When York's campaign manager filed his complaint last May, Loudoun County Commonwealth's Attorney Robert D. Anderson requested that a special prosecutor be appointed to investigate. Anderson (R) argued that because his office is partly funded by the Board of Supervisors, it would have been a conflict of interest for him to conduct the investigation.
CAPTION: Dale Polen Myers said she wanted to get the campaign probe behind her.