Home>Campaigns>Baraka fined $30,634 for 2014 campaign finance violations

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka. (Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Baraka fined $30,634 for 2014 campaign finance violations

By Joey Fox, December 01 2021 10:52 am

The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) released a final decision today on a large number of campaign finance violations committed by Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, fining him a total of $30,634. 

According to the ELEC report, Baraka committed a total of 264 campaign finance violations during his successful 2014 campaign for mayor, covering contributions and expenses that totaled around $200,000. 258 of the violations were due to late, incomplete, or missing reporting of contributions and expenses, while the remaining six were from receiving contributions that exceeded the contribution limit.  

ELEC initially fined Baraka $37,993, but because Baraka paid promptly, the fine was reduced by 20% – a common practice ELEC uses to incentivize efficient payment of fines.

The complaint was first brought against Baraka in October 2017, before Baraka had even been re-elected; now, with the final decision coming four years later, Baraka is gearing up for a potential third term and possible gubernatorial bid in 2025.

“The Baraka campaign is pleased to have resolved this matter amicably. While ELEC imposed modest fines for technical violations, all of which have since been cured by amendments to campaign reports,  these fines are far less than might have been assessed,” said Angelo Genova, an attorney representing the Baraka campaign.  “More importantly, this settlement acknowledges that the Mayor and his campaign committee, having denied any improper conduct on their part, were victims of the wrongful behavior of his campaign treasurer whose conduct precipitated this ELEC complaint. In fact, the federal court who sentenced the campaign’s treasurer in a separate prosecution of him alone, ordered restitution to the campaign of the- treasurer’s ill-gotten gains. This settlement, and the court’s earlier order, affirmatively eliminates any suggestion that the Mayor or his campaign was in any way complicit or did anything wrong.”

Baraka’s former treasurer, Frederick Murphy, Jr., was charged with embezzling over $200,000 from the campaign.  

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