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Essex County GOP committee explains why financials weren’t filed for four years

ELIZABETHTOWN — The head of the Essex County Republican Committee says an officer working through personal issues is what kept the committee from filing required financial reports for four years.

Committee Chairman John Gereau said the person responsible for filing the reports was telling the committee that financial statements were being filed.

None of the mandatory financial reports showing spending like campaign advertising and contributions were filed with the state from 2016 to this year, a total of 22 documents.

“The reports fell behind,” Gereau said.

That resulted in Risa Sugarman, chief enforcement counsel for the New York State Board of Elections, filing a legal complaint against the Essex County Republican Committee on Sept. 12.

The committee had 20 days from the date of service to answer the complaint, which is a civil proceeding before an administrative law judge.

Gereau said he contacted the state Board of Elections and was granted until Nov. 8 to file the missing financial statements.

He said an accountant will be hired, Lane Sayward has agreed to be the new treasurer, and the committee is getting back on track to fulfilling its legal duties.

Gereau said committee members are working together to bring the filings up to date by the deadline.

Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Margaret Bartley said her committee has filed all required financial reports to date, which are available to the public on the State Board of Elections’ website.