2019 Alaska Statutes
Title 15. Elections
Chapter 13. State Election Campaigns
Sec. 15.13.380. Violations; limitations on actions.

Universal Citation: AK Stat § 15.13.380 (2019)

(a) Promptly after the final date for filing statements and reports under this chapter, the commission shall notify all persons who have become delinquent in filing them, including contributors who failed to file a statement in accordance with AS 15.13.040, and shall make available a list of those delinquent filers for public inspection. The commission shall also report to the attorney general the names of all candidates in an election whose campaign treasurers have failed to file the reports required by this chapter.

(b) A person who believes a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter has occurred or is occurring may file an administrative complaint with the commission within five years after the date of the alleged violation. If a member of the commission has filed the complaint, that member may not participate as a commissioner in any proceeding of the commission with respect to the complaint. The commission may consider a complaint on an expedited basis or a regular basis.

(c) The complainant or the respondent to the complaint may request in writing that the commission expedite consideration of the complaint. A request for expedited consideration must be accompanied by evidence to support expedited consideration and be served on the opposing party. The commission shall grant or deny the request within two days after receiving it. In deciding whether to expedite consideration, the commission shall consider such factors as whether the alleged violation, if not immediately restrained, could materially affect the outcome of an election or other impending event; whether the alleged violation could cause irreparable harm that penalties could not adequately remedy; and whether there is reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred or will occur. Notwithstanding the absence of a request to expedite consideration, the commission may independently expedite consideration of the complaint if the commission finds that the standards for expedited consideration set out in this subsection have been met.

(d) If the commission expedites consideration, the commission shall hold a hearing on the complaint within two days after granting expedited consideration. Not later than one day after affording the respondent notice and an opportunity to be heard, the commission shall

(1) enter an emergency order requiring the violation to be ceased or to be remedied and assess civil penalties under AS 15.13.390 if the commission finds that the respondent has engaged in or is about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes or will constitute a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter;

(2) enter an emergency order dismissing the complaint if the commission finds that the respondent has not or is not about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes or will constitute a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter; or

(3) remand the complaint to the executive director of the commission for consideration by the commission on a regular rather than an expedited basis.

(e) If the commission accepts the complaint for consideration on a regular rather than an expedited basis, the commission shall notify the respondent within seven days after receiving the complaint and shall investigate the complaint. The respondent may answer the complaint by filing a written response with the commission within 15 days after the commission notifies the respondent of the complaint. The commission may grant the respondent additional time to respond to the complaint only for good cause. The commission shall hold a hearing on the complaint not later than 45 days after the respondent's written response is due. Not later than 10 days after the hearing, the commission shall issue its order. If the commission finds that the respondent has engaged in or is about to engage in an act or practice that constitutes or will constitute a violation of this chapter or a regulation adopted under this chapter, the commission shall enter an order requiring the violation to be ceased or to be remedied and shall assess civil penalties under AS 15.13.390.

(f) If the complaint involves a challenge to the constitutionality of a statute or regulation, necessary witnesses that are not subject to the commission's subpoena authority, or other issues outside the commission's authority, the commission may request the attorney general to file a complaint in superior court alleging a violation of this chapter. The commission may request the attorney general to file a complaint in superior court to remedy the violation of a commission order.

(g) A commission order under (d) or (e) of this section may be appealed to the superior court by either the complainant or respondent within 30 days in accordance with the Alaska Rules of Appellate Procedure.

(h) If the commission does not complete action on an administrative complaint within 90 days after the complaint was filed, the complainant may file a complaint in superior court alleging a violation of this chapter by a respondent as described in the administrative complaint filed with the commission. The complainant shall provide copies of the complaint filed in the superior court to the commission and the attorney general. This subsection does not create a private cause of action against the commission; against the commission's members, officers, or employees; or against the state.

(i) If a person who was a successful candidate or the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer of a person who was a successful candidate is convicted of a violation of this chapter, after the candidate is sworn into office, proceedings shall be held and appropriate action taken in accordance with

(1) art. II, sec. 12, Constitution of the State of Alaska, if the successful candidate is a member of the state legislature;

(2) art. II, sec. 20, Constitution of the State of Alaska, if the successful candidate is governor or lieutenant governor;

(3) the provisions of the call for the constitutional convention, if the successful candidate is a constitutional convention delegate;

(4) art. IV, sec. 10, Constitution of the State of Alaska, if the successful candidate is a judge.

(j) Information developed by the commission under (b) - (e) of this section shall be considered during a proceeding under (i) of this section.

(k) If, after a successful candidate is sworn into office, the successful candidate or the campaign treasurer or deputy campaign treasurer of the person who was a successful candidate is charged with a violation of this chapter, the case shall be promptly tried and accorded a preferred position for purposes of argument and decision so as to ensure a speedy disposition of the matter.

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