AUGUSTA – The Maine Ethics Commission on Monday fined former legislative candidate David Hughes of Lewiston a total of $450 for Clean Election Act violations incurred during his campaign for House District 72 last fall.

Hughes attended the commission’s monthly meeting in Augusta and said he has no plans to appeal the decision.

“This certainly was handled fairly,” said Hughes. “The fines reflect the entire situation and the ethics staff has earned a lot of respect from me for how they handled this with their sensitivity and understanding.”

Hughes was fined $50 for inaccurately reporting a campaign expense, $200 for returning his unspent campaign funds past deadline and $200 for filing his campaign finance report past deadline.

“There’s no excuse for not returning the money on time,” Hughes said. “I acknowledge that it’s a simple thing to do, to fill out the report and send it back. Regardless of what else was going on in my life, I still should have done that.”

The fine for Hughes’ delayed filing, which was 37 days late, could have been up to nearly $1,500, according to the formula typically used by the commission. The commission staff recommended a reduction of the fine due to “mitigating personal circumstances,” according to the memo composed by Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Ethics Commission.

Wayne said commission members did not comment on the matter at the meeting and followed the ethics staff recommendations.

Hughes, a Republican, said he has no immediate plans to run for elected office again, but is looking to help strengthen his party in the Lewiston area from “behind the scenes.”

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