Marc Caswell, who was the 2nd Ward Councilman until he resigned in August of 2012 and subsequently moved from the borough, was fined $250 by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC) for failing to file campaign reports during that year’s primary election.
Mr. Caswell ran unopposed in 2011 to maintain his seat as Second Ward Councilman after being appointed earlier that year when Joseph Accardi, the then Second Ward Councilman, vacated his position to become mayor in January after being elected in 2010.
In his letter to NJ ELEC that accompanied his Affidavit and Waiver of Hearing filed in November of 2014, Mr. Caswell stated that he did not realize he needed to complete the form in an uncontested election since no funds were spent. The affidavit stated that Mr. Caswell’s failure to file was not willful nor intended to misrepresent or evade the disclosure of any information required by the New Jersey Campaign Contributions and Expenditures Reporting Act.
A mitigating factor that Mr. Caswell cited in him responding so late to the complaint was that NJ ELEC had sent delinquency notices to his old Roselle Park address and not his current place of residence in Middlesex County. Once he was aware of the notices, Mr. Caswell stated that he responded to the complaint and filled out the report.
When reached for comment, the former councilman stated, “I filed the original form but forgot to file the last one after the election. I ran unopposed and did not spend any money. That slip up cost me $250.”
This decision by NJ ELEC makes Mr. Caswell the fourth municipal candidate to be fined for not filing required contribution reports in a timely fashion. Election contribution reports are supposed to be filed by certain dates before and after every election in order to allow the public to be aware of who is contributing to a candidate or political party and the amounts that are donated.
Information on all contribution reports is available at NJ ELEC’s website (link).
A copy of Mr. Caswell’s Affidavit as well as the filled out contribution reports is available below: