An election violation complaint against Manatee County Commissioner John Chappie was resolved Wednesday with the Florida Elections Commission accepting a $1,400 fine he has already paid.
The commission approved a resolution as part of the consent order. The commission action should be the final resolution of the violation.
Chappie, who ran unopposed for the District 3 commission seat in 2012, broke state election law when he paid $5,000 "winner bonuses" to two political consultants during his 2012 re-election campaign. They were paid to Political Insights Inc. and Linda C. Cinque Inc.
Chappie was fined $700 for each violation.
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The payouts violated Section 106.11(5) and 106.19(1)(d) of Florida statutes, which do not allow candidates to use campaign funds to pay such bonuses to consultants.
Chappie elected to resolve the case by consent order instead of requesting a hearing. Bucky Mitchell, Chappie's attorney, has said they thought it was a "better decision to move on and get this behind us."
"Mr. Chappie still doesn't believe he did anything wrong," Mitchell previously told the Bradenton Herald. "He is ready to move on and not spend any more time or resources on it."
Chappie did not respond to a request for comment.
Kate Irby, Herald online/political reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7055. You can follow her on Twitter@KateIrby