North Slope mayor pays overdue fine for campaign violations

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct an inaccurate headline that read “North Pole mayor.”

ANCHORAGE — An Alaska mayor has paid an unusually large fine for campaign finance violations after regulators threatened to refer the bill for collection by the state attorney general.

The Alaska Public Offices Commission in September approved a $34,970 penalty against North Slope Borough Mayor Charlotte Brower for “egregious” violations of the state’s campaign finance laws. The fine should have been paid or appealed by November, reported the Alaska Dispatch News.

The charge relates to reporting violations by Brower’s campaign, including failing to file a disclosure report due in January 2015 that would have detailed activity leading up to the 2014 election and the end of the campaign.

APOC also says Brower provided incomplete information to the commission, including $5,500 in contributions that were not revealed by bank statements. They faulted Brower for a “glaring lack of cooperation.”

Brower’s payment arrived Monday, two days before the commission was set to consider referring her to the attorney general’s office. The referral was an “unusual” step because most penalties are paid in a timely manner, according to Heather Hebdon, APOC campaign disclosure coordinator.

Brower’s husband, Eugene Brower, was her campaign treasurer. He served as borough mayor in the 1980s, and his term ended in a scandal that landed two of his key advisers in prison for accepting kickbacks from contractors.

Brower faces a recall election in April 5 on allegations that she misused borough funds for purposes like sending her grandchildren to basketball camp in California.

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