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These Petersburg candidates are not only late on filings, but haven’t paid fines

Posted at 11:46 PM, Oct 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-10 01:13:03-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- When it comes to campaigning, every candidate has to follow the rules. Rule number one is filing campaign finance reports.

"If you're not prepared to file the reports when you run, you really shouldn't be running," Paul Goldman, a government watchdog said.

CBS 6 News learned that two candidates running for office in Petersburg were late on their filings, and have yet to pay all their fines.

Linwood Christian is running for a seat on the school board. According to a letter from the Office of the Electoral Board and General Registrar, Christian was late in filing his campaign finance report for both July and September.

"I'm not making any excuses for it -- [it's] just an oversight," said Christian.

Christian owes the City of Petersburg over $1,000 and has not paid anything, according to the voter registrar's office.

"It's been almost a month and you still owe $1,000, when do you plan on paying these fines?" asked CBS 6 Reporter Chelsea Rarrick.

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"I've made my arrangements, paying a little here, paying a little there," Christian explained.

Additionally, Natan McKenzie, who is running for Petersburg City Council was also late on two filings, according to letters.

"It's really just human error to be honest," McKenzie said. "At this time, I'm very new to the game."

McKenzie owes $1500 to the city in fines. He said he knew he owed the $1,000, which he said is because of a technical error. However, he said he found out from CBS 6 about the extra $500.

"Do you see how this could be concerning to see someone running for city council who has $1500 in fines and they are supposed to be a local lawmaker," asked Rarrick.

"I completely agree with your statement," said McKenzie. "I can see why that would be troubling."

Both McKenzie and Christian said they will pay the fines, but could not give an exact date.

"I don't have an exact timeline," said McKenzie. "As soon as I get the money."

"I'm hoping to have most of it taken care of by December," Christian said.

Goldman pointed out that if a candidate wins, they cannot take office until they have paid all the fines.