City will not fine Brannon

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COEUR d'ALENE - The city of Coeur d'Alene won't fine a former City Council candidate for not filing an updated 2010 campaign finance disclosure report.

Former Seat 2 challenger Jim Brannon terminated his report in February 2010, and contributions and expenditures after that went to court costs associated with the legal suit that followed the election, Brannon said in a letter to the city.

The letter was dated Jan. 31, the deadline to file 2010 reports.

The city said Thursday it won't argue with that interpretation since Idaho law doesn't contradict it.

"We're not going to pursue anything, (the attorney general's office) didn't express any interest in pursuing anything, so that's kind of where it is," said Mike Gridley, city attorney.

While 2010 wasn't an election year for a city seat, the 2009 election turned into a yearlong court case, meaning two former Seat 2 candidates were still accepting and spending money in 2010 tied to the 2009 campaign.

"The funds received by my post election contest lawsuit attorney were deposited in his trust account to be used solely to pay costs incurred in the litigation, and not for attorney fees or for any other matter," the letter states.

The city's legal team requested an opinion last year from the Idaho Secretary of State's Office when the question first surfaced.

A letter from Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said that the finances for the post-election challenge should be considered valid campaign expenditures.

Gridley said that opinion was based on federal precedents, and not on Idaho law.

A $50 a day fine may be imposed for not filing.

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