April 28, 2011
Sound Transit abuses taxpayers, taxpayers pay Sound Transit's fine
The Public Disclosure Commission today approved a Stipulation whereby Sound Transit would pay a $15,000 fine for failing to file timely reports of its lobbying expenses dating back to 2006. The late filed reports disclosed lobbying expenses of $682,000.
Half the fine is suspended contingent on Sound Transit's compliance with all campaign finance and lobbying disclosure laws for the next four years.
The violations were committed by Sound Transit's managers. But as a public agency with the lion's share of its budget paid by taxpayers, it's the taxpayers who ultimately pay the fine for violations against the taxpayers.
Instead of victimizing the taxpayers a second time, the law should be changed so that the officials who commit these violations are personally on the hook for the penalties.
Hat tip: Matt Rosenberg.
Posted by Stefan Sharkansky at April 28, 2011
04:28 PM | Email This
1. Why is a publicly funded agency lobbying anyone?
2. But I thought you wanted the government to be run like a private company! How many companies make employees pay fines like this?
You're right, of course. Better to just fire those responsible like would happen in private industry.
And then the company would also pay for it out of existing revenues, they wouldn't be able to go back to their customers and demand they pay more for their error.
So, budgets are reduced by this amount, no new revenue sources are used to cover this loss, and those responsible are fired. I'm all for that!
4. Completely agree with the last paragraph. It's been more than obvious that ST has been a rogue agency, wasting tax dollars and screwing up and can you really say anyone has paid a price for all that except the taxpayers?
I have to disagree--the people responsible should do jail time. That's the only way.
ST has a long history of doing this, and never held to account. The Resolution 75 deal, the ST push-polling, the $400,000 of tax money spent on glossy campaign brochures under the guise of 'informing' the public.
When interests can use taxpayer money to politick, the result is an endless cycle of gov't growth. And now if they are found to have violated, they just pay the fine with fricking TAXPAYER MONEY? It's like a Russian nested doll. Just one conflict of interest inside another, inside another. California, here we come.
6. As long as government agencies are never held accountable this type of activity will continue. Accountability instead of picking the tax payer pockets for every mistake they make. I bet those involved got a pay raise and moved to a different part of the agency. That seems to be the way government agencies handle problems like this.
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