The Public Disclosure Commission has fined Pierce County auditor candidate Will Baker $300 for a repeat violation of state election laws. It suspended a separate $500 penalty for his most recent violation.
Baker appeared at a commission hearing Oct. 22 to answer a complaint that he had failed to file a candidate registration form and a financial affairs disclosure form for his current campaign for county auditor. Baker skipped an August hearing on the issue, and the commission assessed a $500 fine for the violation.
PDC spokeswoman Lori Anderson said Baker told the commission last week he was not able to attend the August hearing because he was in jail.
We recently asked the Tacoma Police Department to check jail records. The department could find no evidence Baker was in jail in Pierce County at the time of the August hearing.
Baker filed the required campaign paperwork on the day of last week’s hearing. The commission suspended the $500 fine on the condition that he commits no more violations for the next four years.
However, Baker still owes $300 for a separate violation in 2007. Back then, he failed to file the same paperwork required when he ran for Tacoma City Council. The commission suspended the fine at the time as an incentive for Baker to comply with the law in the future, Anderson said.
The $300 fine was automatically reinstated because of his most recent violation. Anderson said Baker has not yet paid the $300.