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Pierce County prosecutor warned about delayed campaign disclosures

Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist failed for more than two years to report a set of in-kind expenditures for his 2014 re-election campaign, according to the state’s campaign finance watchdog.

The Public Disclosure Commission sent a letter to Lindquist on Tuesday, declining to pursue a more formal investigation, but warning that the delayed reporting would be a considered if the agency finds violations through the course of Lindquist’s campaign for re-election in 2018.

The letter responded to a complaint filed last year by Puyallup resident Carolyn Merrival, wife of former Deputy Prosecutor Steven Merrival, who filed a whistleblower complaint against Lindquist in 2015. Steven Merrival retired from the prosecutor’s office earlier this year.

Carolyn Merrival’s complaint alleged that Lindquist’s campaign failed to report various contributions and expenditures from 2010 to 2016. The PDC declined to pursue a formal investigation of the allegations, but concluded Lindquist’s campaign failed to report $3,200 in-kind expenditures related to a rock band’s performance at a 2014 fund-raising event.

According to PDC records, the contributions were listed in an amended report filed in October 2016, long after the event and the associated election took place, and a few weeks after Merrival filed her complaint. The original and amended reports were filed by Bryce Nelson, a deputy prosecutor who also serves as Lindquist’s campaign treasurer.

According to PDC records, the contributions were listed in an amended report filed in October 2016, long after the event and the associated election took place, and a few weeks after Merrival filed her complaint.

The original and amended reports were filed by Bryce Nelson, a deputy prosecutor who is Lindquist’s campaign treasurer.

“That information was required to have been disclosed on May 10, 2014, and was disclosed more than two years late,” the PDC’s letter to Lindquist states.

Lindquist didn’t respond directly to a request for comment. Alex Hays, his campaign spokesman, provided a statement via email.

“We thank the PDC for its work on this issue, and appreciate that they dismissed all but one of the issues before them,” Hays wrote. “We agree that one of the musical performances by some of Mark’s friends should have been reported. As soon as we become aware of this oversight, we amended our filings to include the in-kind contribution.”

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