Houck pays fine to settle campaign violation - KRTV News in Great Falls, Montana

Houck pays fine to settle campaign violation

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Tracy Houck Tracy Houck
Don Petrini Don Petrini
The complaint was filed last year by fellow candidate Don Petrini. The complaint was filed last year by fellow candidate Don Petrini.

Great Falls City Commissioner Tracy Houck has paid a fine of $1,200 to resolve a complaint stemming from her 2015 campaign.

The complaint was filed last year by fellow candidate Don Petrini.

Houck was elected to the City Commission in November 2015 by a margin of 11 votes.

An investigation by the Montana Commissioner of Political Practices determined that Houck violated campaign practice laws by failing to report nearly $300 in expenses and donated services, and failing to file campaign documents in a timely manner.

Petrini's complaint cited Houck's original statement for her candidacy in which she indicated that she would not raise or spend any money on her campaign, including her own money.

Houck then placed several campaign signs around town, sponsored an advertisement on Facebook, and used professional photos on her campaign Facebook page.

Houck later filed an amended candidate statement in which she indicated that she would raise money.

Houck issued a press release on Tuesday which included the following:

I have not been a career candidate and did not know all the nuances of campaign reporting. I wanted to raise and spend as little money as possible. My treasurer had never worked a campaign as well. I raised in hard cash and in kind resources approximately $2500.

My eagerness to serve should not have preceded the need for me to be educated in campaign policies. My words are simply excuses, what I did, unintentional or not, was wrong, and I accept responsibility.

I made mistakes and rightfully I was cited. Previously, I issued a statement, apologizing for the errors I made. I am doing so again today. When the violation was originally reported to the State, I did not think I had violated any rules; however I was misinformed.

As I previously stated, the Office of Political Practice was extremely helpful to me to correct my finance reporting errors and help me throughout the remainder of the campaign. I fixed my mistakes and I paid a fine as dictated the Office of Political Practices.

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