The City Auditor has announced an investigation into the Emilie Boyles and Lucinda Tate city council campaigns.
Gary Blackmer, Portland City Auditor, and Leslie Hildula, Chair of the Citizen Campaign Commission announced that an investigation is underway for possible criminal and civil violations regarding campaign contributions to the Boyles and Tate campaigns for City Council. Facts and circumstances related to fundraising have been forwarded to the Portland Police Bureau for the investigation. Both candidates are participating in the City's Public Campaign Financing program which provides city funds to campaigns that meet qualification requirements. For city council races, this means gathering 1000 qualifying contributions of $5 each from Portland residents.
"We are investigating various allegations to determine whether laws were broken. If we find wrong-doing we will take strong action," Blackmer said. "Depending on the violations, the law allows us to fully recover public campaign funds from candidates, charge interest, levy additional fines, and refer any criminal activity for prosecution."
Of course, critics of the system are arguing that any alleged fraud points out the failures of the system, while defenders of the system argue that the benchmark is whether the fraud is caught and prosecuted.