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Dupont Circle ANC Alleged Campaign Violations Favoring a Ward 2 Candidate Under Investigation

By William G. Schulz

The DC Office of Campaign Finance (OCF) has launched an investigation of possible Campaign Finance Act violations by ANC 2B Commissioners Daniel Warwick (2B02), Randy Downs (2B05), and Aaron Landry (2B04). The investigation was prompted by a detailed complaint from ANC 2B09 Commissioner Ed Hanlon alleging that his fellow commissioners illegally used a government twitter account to support the campaign of Ward 2 City Council Candidate, Patrick Kennedy.

Specifically, Hanlon alleges that Warwick, Downs, and Landry used the ANC 2B twitter account to post photos of Kennedy campaigning at the Aug. 24, 17th St., NW, festival. What’s more, Hanlon charges that the three commissioners improperly linked commissioner pages on the ANC 2B twitter account to Kennedy’s campaign page on twitter or to Kennedy campaign tweets or posted photos that were not related to any official business for ANC 2B.

“The use of governmental resources by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 2B follows local laws and guidance from the Office of Government Ethics,” Warwick, who is also chair of ANC 2B, told The InTowner.

“When forwarding the complaint to me,” Warwick continued, “OCF’s General Counsel explained that ‘as in all inquiries of this nature, the details of OCF’s activity regarding this matter will remain confidential until completion of the investigation.’ I await the finalization of the investigation which indicates there was no wrongdoing.”

In giving notice of the investigation, OCF General Counsel William Sanford wrote in a September 6th email to Commissioners Warwick, Landry, Downs; also, Matthew Sampson (2B01), Mike Silverstein (2B06), and Kari Cunningham (2B07) that “[i]f you have used any government resources to promote or support a candidate or campaign committee or for any campaign purposes, you should immediately cease and desist from that activity.”

Sanford’s emailing did not include ANC 2B Commissioners Beverly Schwartz (2B08) or Lucky Barbieri (2B03).

“D.C. Official Code states in pertinent part that ‘No resources of the District of Columbia government, including the expenditure of funds, the personal services of employees during their hours of work, and nonpersonal services, including supplies, materials, equipment, office space, facilities, and telephones and other utilities, shall be used to support or oppose any candidate for elected office, whether partisan or nonpartisan, or to support or oppose any initiative, referendum, or recall measure, including a charter amendment referendum,’” Sanford wrote in his notice to the commissioners.