Keith A. Vance, the director of the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance, said yesterday that he had directed D.C. Council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) to appear at a July 10 hearing or face penalties in the continuing dispute over whether she has filed inaccurate campaign finance reports.
Jarvis, chairman of the council's Committee on Housing and Economic Development, has maintained that the Board of Elections and Ethics, not Vance, should decide whether she violated campaign finance rules by failing to reimburse New York banking giant Citicorp for $1,830 in expenses it paid on her behalf.
But the election board ruled yesterday that it will take no action on Jarvis' case unless it is presented as an appeal of any charges brought by Vance within two weeks.
By rejecting Jarvis' request for an immediate declaratory judgment on whether the Citicorp-paid trips to New York in 1985 and 1986 were improper, the election board set the stage for the next in what has been a series of confrontations between Vance and Jarvis.
Vance said that if Jarvis fails to appear for the hearing, which will be held in his offices before an administrative law judge, she could be held liable for up to $500 in fines for failing to respond to his order that she reimburse Citicorp.
Jarvis has repaid $712 of the amount Citicorp spent in connection with the trip, and attorneys for the bank have asked her to return the rest.
Jarvis had not received Vance's hearing notice by late yesterday, but said through a spokeswoman that the election board's decision "is what we've wanted all along. The board is essentially providing the director with two weeks to fish or cut bait."
Jarvis has maintained that the money Citicorp spent was allowable because the trips were fact-finding missions to New York on housing issues. Jarvis' council committee oversees housing and local regulation of the banking industry.
William H. Lewis, counsel to the election board, Aug. 5 to determine whether the money Citicorp paid constitutes a gift to an elected official in excess of the $100 limit set by District law.
Jarvis has charged that Vance is harassing her. Vance, who since May has set a succession of 10-day deadlines by which Jarvis was to have complied with his order, said he has been "trying to give her as much time as possible to deal with it."
"I don't treat her any differently from any other filer in this office," he said.