FEC: FEC Agrees with Campaign Legal Center that Former Rep. Towns Violated Ban on Personal Use of Campaign Funds


The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has reached a conciliation agreement with the campaign committee of former Rep. Edolphus Towns (D-NY) concerning allegations that he illegally converted campaign funds to personal use based on a complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) in 2012.  As part of the agreement the campaign committee will pay a $5,000 fine and Mr. Towns, who retired in 2013, will reimburse the committee.  Media reports at the time the complaint was filed had indicated that the former Congressman’s wife, Gwen Towns, regularly utilized a vehicle leased by the campaign for a variety of noncampaign-related personal uses, including her daily commute to and from her place of employment.    

“While it is a relief that the usually-deadlocked FEC could muster the necessary votes to find reason to believe a violation occurred here, it nonetheless seems absurd that it required nearly two years to close a case involving such a clear-cut violation,” said Paul S. Ryan, CLC Senior Counsel.  “The law clearly prohibits the personal use of campaign funds and clearly defines payment of noncampaign-related automobile expenses as personal use.”

FEC reports indicated that former-Rep. Towns’ campaign had leased an Infiniti for at least 12 months at a cost of more than $600 per month and published reports indicated that the vehicle had been used exclusively or primarily by the former Congressman’s wife Gwen Towns for noncampaign-related personal activities. 

The Legal Center was notified by the FEC through the mail today after the conciliation agreement was reached on March 10, 2014.

To read the conciliation agreement and the FEC’s notification letter, click here.

To read the original complaint filed on May 30, 2012, click here.