LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel says politicians who owe campaign fines and fees dating back more than six years don’t have to pay them back. But, those outstanding fines and fees could cost a politician a spot on the ballot.
The opinion, which carries the force of law until and unless a court overturns it, was requested by State Rep. Paul Wojno (D-Warren).
Under the decision, county clerks can only collect fines and fees for six years after they are due. Any uncollected dollars assessed to a campaign committee after that time can’t be collected. But Nessel says they have to stay on the campaign records.
As a result, a candidate seeking office who still owes fines and fees from a previous campaign would have to pay those back before signing an affidavit of identity. The Affidavit of Identity specifically states who the candidate is and, under penalty of perjury, that at the time of the signing, all fines, fees and campaign reports have been paid and filed.
Debts older than six years are to be treated as noncompliance, the opinion says.
Read the Opinion:
As 6 News has been reporting, Lansing School Board Trustee Rosalyn Williams owes the Ingham County Clerk $1,800 in fines and fees for unfiled paperwork. While Williams has worked out a payment arrangement with the county, if those fines and fees remain when her term ends in 2029, she may be hampered in seeking re-election. Williams was elected to a six-year term in Nov. 2022, and sworn into office in January.