AUGUSTA, Maine — The treasurer for the election campaign of Rep. Allen Michael Nadeau, R-Fort Kent, has been charged with one count of filing a false report, a Class E crime, according to the Maine Attorney General’s Office.
Louis Philip Soucy, 77, through his attorney, William Logan of Newport, has entered a not guilty plea, Logan said Saturday. Soucy was scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Augusta District Court.
Soucy allegedly filed a campaign finance report with the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices that stated $1,475 in public campaign finance funds was used to pay for a flier created by an outside group. Soucy also was treasurer of the group, Citizens for Effective Government, according to the complaint. Soucy filed a report dated Nov. 2 listing that amount as an independent expenditure.
On Nov. 5, the day before Nadeau beat long-time Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, by a vote of 2,132 to 1,854, the ethics commission unanimously found that Soucy and Nadeau had violated Maine’s election laws, according to a previously published report. Because Nadeau received public campaign funds under the Maine Clean Election Act, he was prohibited from accepting contributions.
Under Maine law, outside groups are allowed to spend money in support of candidates as long as the groups don’t coordinate with the candidates affected by the expenditure, according to a previously published report. If a candidate and outside groups do coordinate, the expenditure counts as a direct contribution to the candidate’s campaign and should be listed as such.
The Ethics Commission held a hearing in January to determine whether Nadeau or Soucy should be fined for the violation, according to the St. John Valley Times. That hearing is to continue this month but a date has not been set.
The commission has the authority to impose fines but not to send someone who has violated campaign finance rules to jail.
Soucy was informed Feb. 11 of the criminal charge in Augusta District Court, according to information provided by the attorney general’s office.
If convicted of the crime of filing a false report, Soucy faces up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.