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State Ethics Commission fines lobbyists

The State Ethics Commission has fined nine lobbying groups, including two local ones, for missing the deadline for filing their financial reports for the third quarter of 2012.

Myron Arnowitt, state director of Clean Water Action, said the person responsible for filing the report was on leave at the deadline and the organization did not realize it had failed to file until the next quarterly report was due.

“We got it in as soon as we realized it hadn’t been filed,” Arnowitt said.

The environmental advocacy group reported $3,600 in lobbying expenses for the third quarter. Arnowitt said the group rarely spends as much as $5,000 in a three-month period and often doesn’t meet the $2,500 reporting threshold.

“We’re not flying anyone to the Super Bowl or anything like that,” he said.

The commission fined Clean Water Action and five other groups $3,290, or $35 per day, for being 94 days late.

The other groups are American Chemistry Council of Washington; Ahold USA of Quincy, Mass.; CeaseFirePA of Philadelphia; Matrix Development Group of Monroe, N.J.; and Pennsylvania National Guard Associations of Annville.

It fined Synergy Real Estate Corp. of McKeesport $3,220, or $35 per day, for being 92 days late. A representative for the group could not be reached for comment.

The commission fined two groups $750, or $50 per day, for being 15 days late: Astrum Solar Inc. of Annapolis Junction, Md., and National Safety Compliance of Lakewood, N.J.

Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-325-4301 or [email protected].


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