State Senator-elect Natasha Von Imhof faces up to $17K in fines after an Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) staff investigation found she failed to report some business interests in Public Official Finance Disclosures (POFD).
On October 17th, one of Von Imhof’s primary opponents, Jeff Landfield, filed an APOC complaint claiming Von Imhof had failed to report a number ownership interests and income related to her husband’s involvement in Delta Leasing LLC on her two 2015 POFDs. Von Imhof was required to file one financial disclosure for being a member of the Anchorage School Board and another when she became a candidate for Alaska State Senate.
The details of Von Imhof’s business relationships and reporting requirements for public officials related to them are a bit complex. Landfield’s complaint charged that Von Imhof failed to disclose her husband, Rudy Von Imhof’s ownership interests, business income, tax liabilities, and clients of Delta Leasing, LLC, not disclosing board positions, or an ownership interest in Great Land Hangars Association, not disclosing an ownership interest in Latash Investments, and not reporting stock the family holds in Wells Fargo as a business interest.
It is standard for APOC staff to do their own investigation and report their conclusions following a complaint. The staff report found Von Imhof did not violate state regulations on most counts, writing:
“Respondent did not violate POFD statutes and regulations by failing to disclose clients of Delta, a tax liability of Delta, or multiple positions held in business interests. Those allegations of the complaint should be dismissed.”
They did, however, find Von Imhof did not correctly report her family‘s Wells Fargo stock and her ownership interest in Latash. She also failed to report her husband’s role in Great Land Hangars altogether.
Because of those violations, Von Imhof is subject to a maximum penalty of $10 per day per violation since the omissions first appeared on a POFD report she filed on January 26, 2012. That math works out to a maximum penalty of $17,070.
The APOC staff report, however, also found the errors to be unintentional saying:
“This case presents no evidence of an intent to deceive. On the contrary, the evidence shows that Respondent did not hide ownership of Wells Fargo stock, she simply failed to report it as a business interest in addition to a source of income. Likewise, Respondent did not hide an interest in Latash, Inc. Rather, she simply misreported it as an interest in Latash Investments LLC whose sole member is Latash, Inc. As to Great Land Hangars Association, Respondent reported a 25% interest, but mistakenly mis-named the business and the nature of the interest.”
As a result of that finding, APOC staff is recommending the $17K maximum fine be reduced by 95% to $853.50. That is quite a markdown.
The staff report now moves to the APOC board for a final determination.