Hamilton’s election audit committee wants more information from Conley

News May 04, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley failed to convince members of the city’s election compliance audit committee he funded his winning election campaign last fall from his own personal bank account.

Conley appeared before the May 4 committee after Camilo Sanchez filed a compliance audit against the Ward 9 councillor, arguing some of his election expenses answers were “blank” and the entire document not properly completed.

“It is clear that the candidate failed to file a complete and accurate financial statement,” said Sanchez. “It is also astonishing that a professional auditor would sign off on an incomplete financial statement.”

Sanchez, who ran against Conley in last fall’s municipal election and finished third in a nine-candidate race, is also known as Cam Galindo. He said ‘Camilo Sanchez’ is his legal name.

Sanchez said he wanted to “hold our politicians accountable” considering that “not all politicians are truthful.”

It was a comment that Conley took exception to.

“I’m truthful,” said Conley. “I will do everything I can to prove I’m an honest politician.”

Conley said any mistakes on his campaign finance form is “100 per cent my fault” even though he had an accountant examine the document before filing it at the end of March.

“I didn’t review it,” said Conley. “It looked right. I didn’t examine all the pages. It’s my responsibility.”

Conley said he spent $17,842.99 on his campaign, which he funded by himself. He said he transferred the money from his personal bank account to his campaign account last year. Yet on the campaign finance expense form, he did not identify how much he contributed to his campaign.

“I received no corporate money, no union money, no individual money,” said Conley, who last served as a former city of Stoney Creek councillor in 2000.

Ed Dillane, Conley’s accountant, who has been reviewing municipal candidates’ expenses for 15 years, said it was the first time a candidate didn’t have any contributions.

“Other candidates had contributions,” he said.  “I should have filled (the number) in.”

Conley provided some banking documents to try and convince the three committee members present he did transfer money from his personal account to his campaign account. He also said he had some credit card receipts for a couple of purchases he made on behalf of the campaign.

But the committee members said the documents didn’t prove he used his own account.

Committee member Linda Lister said they had nothing to go on but his word that the transactions took place. She added there were also missing banking statement pages that compounded the members’ confusion.

But Conley and his accountant were frustrated at the committee’s response.

“Why would I come here and show you a fraudulent bank account?” said Conley.

Conley said he didn’t realize he needed to provide additional information to the committee about his expenses. He believed the issue was why he didn’t correctly fill in the expense document properly.

Barry Gilbert said the committee wants to “satisfy ourselves” and to make the document accurate.

“There is a gap,” he said. “Part of our mandate is to determine the accuracy of your statement.”

The committee members requested a complete set of statements from Conley, including banking transactions.

Conley said he will “do everything under my power” to get the information to the city clerk by the end of the week.

 

 

Hamilton’s election audit committee wants more information from Conley

News May 04, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley failed to convince members of the city’s election compliance audit committee he funded his winning election campaign last fall from his own personal bank account.

Conley appeared before the May 4 committee after Camilo Sanchez filed a compliance audit against the Ward 9 councillor, arguing some of his election expenses answers were “blank” and the entire document not properly completed.

“It is clear that the candidate failed to file a complete and accurate financial statement,” said Sanchez. “It is also astonishing that a professional auditor would sign off on an incomplete financial statement.”

Sanchez, who ran against Conley in last fall’s municipal election and finished third in a nine-candidate race, is also known as Cam Galindo. He said ‘Camilo Sanchez’ is his legal name.

Sanchez said he wanted to “hold our politicians accountable” considering that “not all politicians are truthful.”

It was a comment that Conley took exception to.

“I’m truthful,” said Conley. “I will do everything I can to prove I’m an honest politician.”

Conley said any mistakes on his campaign finance form is “100 per cent my fault” even though he had an accountant examine the document before filing it at the end of March.

“I didn’t review it,” said Conley. “It looked right. I didn’t examine all the pages. It’s my responsibility.”

Conley said he spent $17,842.99 on his campaign, which he funded by himself. He said he transferred the money from his personal bank account to his campaign account last year. Yet on the campaign finance expense form, he did not identify how much he contributed to his campaign.

“I received no corporate money, no union money, no individual money,” said Conley, who last served as a former city of Stoney Creek councillor in 2000.

Ed Dillane, Conley’s accountant, who has been reviewing municipal candidates’ expenses for 15 years, said it was the first time a candidate didn’t have any contributions.

“Other candidates had contributions,” he said.  “I should have filled (the number) in.”

Conley provided some banking documents to try and convince the three committee members present he did transfer money from his personal account to his campaign account. He also said he had some credit card receipts for a couple of purchases he made on behalf of the campaign.

But the committee members said the documents didn’t prove he used his own account.

Committee member Linda Lister said they had nothing to go on but his word that the transactions took place. She added there were also missing banking statement pages that compounded the members’ confusion.

But Conley and his accountant were frustrated at the committee’s response.

“Why would I come here and show you a fraudulent bank account?” said Conley.

Conley said he didn’t realize he needed to provide additional information to the committee about his expenses. He believed the issue was why he didn’t correctly fill in the expense document properly.

Barry Gilbert said the committee wants to “satisfy ourselves” and to make the document accurate.

“There is a gap,” he said. “Part of our mandate is to determine the accuracy of your statement.”

The committee members requested a complete set of statements from Conley, including banking transactions.

Conley said he will “do everything under my power” to get the information to the city clerk by the end of the week.

 

 

Hamilton’s election audit committee wants more information from Conley

News May 04, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

Stoney Creek councillor Doug Conley failed to convince members of the city’s election compliance audit committee he funded his winning election campaign last fall from his own personal bank account.

Conley appeared before the May 4 committee after Camilo Sanchez filed a compliance audit against the Ward 9 councillor, arguing some of his election expenses answers were “blank” and the entire document not properly completed.

“It is clear that the candidate failed to file a complete and accurate financial statement,” said Sanchez. “It is also astonishing that a professional auditor would sign off on an incomplete financial statement.”

Sanchez, who ran against Conley in last fall’s municipal election and finished third in a nine-candidate race, is also known as Cam Galindo. He said ‘Camilo Sanchez’ is his legal name.

Sanchez said he wanted to “hold our politicians accountable” considering that “not all politicians are truthful.”

It was a comment that Conley took exception to.

“I’m truthful,” said Conley. “I will do everything I can to prove I’m an honest politician.”

Conley said any mistakes on his campaign finance form is “100 per cent my fault” even though he had an accountant examine the document before filing it at the end of March.

“I didn’t review it,” said Conley. “It looked right. I didn’t examine all the pages. It’s my responsibility.”

Conley said he spent $17,842.99 on his campaign, which he funded by himself. He said he transferred the money from his personal bank account to his campaign account last year. Yet on the campaign finance expense form, he did not identify how much he contributed to his campaign.

“I received no corporate money, no union money, no individual money,” said Conley, who last served as a former city of Stoney Creek councillor in 2000.

Ed Dillane, Conley’s accountant, who has been reviewing municipal candidates’ expenses for 15 years, said it was the first time a candidate didn’t have any contributions.

“Other candidates had contributions,” he said.  “I should have filled (the number) in.”

Conley provided some banking documents to try and convince the three committee members present he did transfer money from his personal account to his campaign account. He also said he had some credit card receipts for a couple of purchases he made on behalf of the campaign.

But the committee members said the documents didn’t prove he used his own account.

Committee member Linda Lister said they had nothing to go on but his word that the transactions took place. She added there were also missing banking statement pages that compounded the members’ confusion.

But Conley and his accountant were frustrated at the committee’s response.

“Why would I come here and show you a fraudulent bank account?” said Conley.

Conley said he didn’t realize he needed to provide additional information to the committee about his expenses. He believed the issue was why he didn’t correctly fill in the expense document properly.

Barry Gilbert said the committee wants to “satisfy ourselves” and to make the document accurate.

“There is a gap,” he said. “Part of our mandate is to determine the accuracy of your statement.”

The committee members requested a complete set of statements from Conley, including banking transactions.

Conley said he will “do everything under my power” to get the information to the city clerk by the end of the week.