Epps pays fine; admits to violations during 2012 county council bid

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH

BY JAMES HARPER
DAYTONA TIMES

The Florida Elections Commission (FEC) investigation against former Volusia County Council candidate Nancy Epps pertaining to a complaint filed against her a year ago by a former mayor of Ponce Inlet has concluded.

Nancy Epps

Nancy Epps

According to a document obtained by the Daytona Times dated Aug. 29, the FEC agreed and determined there was probable cause to believe that the Florida Election Code was violated by Epps.

Former Ponce Inlet Mayor Tony Goudie filed the complaint with the FEC against Epps, alleging that she had committed multiple violations during her bid to unseat incumbent Volusia County Councilman Josh Wagner.

Epps was fined $3,750, which she paid.

Epps’ response
The Daytona Times broke the news last October about the complaint filed against Epps, also a former mayor of Ponce Inlet, who at the time was running against Wagner. He went on to defeat Epps during the November general election.

In an interview by email this week, Epps wrote to the Daytona Times: “Regarding the facts presented by the Elections Commission, these occurrences were the result of honest procedural mistakes on my part due to the frantic activity during the heat of the campaign.  None of the occurrences resulted in any unpaid checks and none were intended to violate any election laws.”

“In fact, I willingly incurred significant personal expense in order to meet each and every obligation to those who trusted me. Every single check was paid on first submission as a result of my commitment. There was never any intentional inappropriate campaign activity,” she continued.

Accepted responsibility
Epps said since she was acting as her own treasurer she accepted all of the responsibility.

“I do believe in honesty and transparency in election procedures, which is why I chose to be as cooperative with the Commission as they confirmed I was. We certainly have had our share of marginal election behavior on the part of some of our local politicians, and I am proud of the fact that the commission has clarified that, while I am not immune to making mistakes, I am honest and accept responsibility when I err. My commitment to serve my community remains strong,” Epps concluded.

In a consent final order dated Aug. 29, it was noted that Epps expressed a desire to enter into negotiations directed toward reaching a consent agreement.

Epps and the FEC stipulated that she violated Section 106:11(4), Florida Statue when she incurred 25 campaign expenditures between April 2, 2012 and Aug. 9, 2012 for the purchase of goods or services without having sufficient funds on deposit in her primary depository account. Epps was fined $100 for each of the 25 counts for a total of $2500.

She also violated Sections 106.19(1) (d), Florida Statue when she authorized the 25 campaign expenditures between April 2, 2012 and Aug. 9, 2012 without having sufficient funds on deposit in her primary depository account. Epps was fined $50 for each of the 25 counts for a total of $1,250.

One Response to Epps pays fine; admits to violations during 2012 county council bid

  1. Tony Goudie

    While anyone can make a mistake, it’s the type of mistake(s) made and the frequency with which they occur that really matter. it has particular importance when mistakes are repeatedly made by a candidate for elective office. After the commission compiled evidence that there were numerous violations of state election law campaign financing,
    Saying that “your cooperation with the Florida Elections Commission is a testament to your integrity “is a bit like saying:
    “Now that I’m busted for committing bank robbery; I’m giving the money back”; “so that makes it okay.”
    It’s not okay to routinely ignore election laws and to process 25 transactions through your campaign account when the money was not there; nor is it okay to attempt to minimize it. Nancy Epps knows better, and got caught. It does not matter that you had no intention of violating the law when you violated the law 50 times., it’s no excuse.
    Many candidates for elective office manage their campaigns with integrity and in a way that does not invite the scrutiny of the FLorida Elections Commission andin this particular instanceit was not Candidate Epps first time before the Commission. Her behavior has shown a repeated indifference to campaign laws as is evidenced by her previous hearings before the Florida Elections Commission.

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