Elections officials narrow scope of collection effort

Albany

In its effort to recover more dollars from scofflaw politicians, the state Board of Elections’ “test group” for a new collection strategy turns out to be not much of a group at all.

The Times Union reported Sept. 19 that the board was prepared to send letters to campaign treasurers with judgments against them and the banks that held their funds, informing them that the committees’ assets were frozen until their fines had been settled.

The letters, board spokesman John Conklin said at the time, were scheduled to go out by the end of last week.

In response to a follow-up call, Conklin said Thursday that only two letters had been mailed — to one campaign committee treasurer and the committee’s bank.

Conklin explained that the board’s campaign finance enforcement counsel decided to reduce the scope of the effort on Friday, after staff concluded that state law restricts the number of restraining notices that a creditor can bring against a debtor or bank.

“Leave of court is required to serve more than one restraining notice upon the same person with respect to the same judgment or order,” the law states. “A judgment creditor shall not serve more than two restraining notices per year upon a ………..

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