LEWISTON —The state is suing a campaign consultant, claiming he failed to pay nearly $18,000 in fines imposed by a state ethics panel for taking public money from a candidate and not performing the work, “fabricating” invoices and creating and distributing false campaign literature.

Daniel Rogers, who was reportedly living last week at a Lisbon Street motel, was sought by the Maine Attorney General’s Office, sources said. He was believed to have been living in California before returning to Maine.

Rogers was fined in 2006 for violations in connection with a Maine Clean Election Act campaign two years earlier.

The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices board held hearings in 2005 after irregularities were found in several Clean Election campaigns, in which candidates are given taxpayer money to spend only on campaign-related expenses. The hearings resulted in a total of $46,500 in fines imposed on three candidates and Rogers, the largest amount in the history of the public campaign funding program. The commission also ordered some of the candidates to repay a portion of the public money they received.

Rogers was paid to prepare 16,000 postcards for Julia St. James of Hartford, a self-described “stoner” and “weed farmer” who ran for the Maine Senate in District 14 as a Fourth Branch Party member. Rogers served as her campaign manager and was paid $5,000 until he was fired. The commission fined him $10,000. The commission also fined Rogers $2,500 for each of three “fabricated” invoices for St. James’ campaign, totaling $7,500.

He told the ethics commission he had designed, printed and distributed by mail a postcard shortly before a Biddeford special election on Feb. 3, 2004. The postcards included a statement alleging that a coalition supporting gay marriage supported the Democratic candidate in the special election race, designed to smear that candidate. Rogers said he invented the coalition and its endorsement and paid for the printing of the postcards, which lacked attribution.

Rogers took no action to appeal the commission’s rulings, according to the suit, filed this week by the Maine Attorney General’s Office in Kennebec County Superior Court.

Two months after the ethics commission imposed the fines, totaling $17,700, it notified Rogers it was turning the matter over to the Maine Attorney General’s Office for collection. Rogers didn’t respond, the suit says.

That office tracked Rogers to a motel in Lewiston where papers were served to a woman staying at that address.

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