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Complaint against group dropped

Nevada’s Secretary of State has dropped a complaint a resident filed against a local organization due to a lack of evidence.

The election integrity violation report filed against Boulder City Community Alliance on April 5 by Fritz McDonald accuses the group of operating as a political action committee.

According to Jennifer Russell, public information officer for the Nevada Secretary of State, the case was closed because no evidence had been received to support the claims.

McDonald said he was told the complaint had been “administratively closed” but would be kept on file.

“They assured me they will re-address this in due time,” he said. “I respect the process … I’m happy to work with the state to come to a resolution.”

In his complaint, McDonald wrote the alliance was operating as a PAC “knowingly and intentionally avoiding required filings, and refusing to comply with relevant laws and requirements.”

Additionally, he named City Councilman and mayoral candidate Kiernan McManus and City Council candidate James Howard Adams as leaders of the group and accused both men of “intentionally and actively using the BCCA as an arm of their campaign while avoiding the filing and reporting requirements.”

Both McManus and Adams denied the claims and said they were not surprised the complaint has been closed.

“It comes as no surprise that the frivolous complaint from Mr. McDonald was rejected by the Nevada Secretary of State,” McManus said.

“I’m not surprised at all by the state’s decision,” Adams said. “This was always going to be the conclusion as there was no basis to any of Fritz’s accusations.”

Laura Pyzer and Tracy Folda, administrators for the alliance’s closed Facebook group, emailed an official statement on behalf of BCCA to the Boulder City Review, which said, “After receiving notice of the complaint filed by … Fritz MacDonald, we at the BCCA were surprised, upset, but mostly saddened … We do not operate as a PAC, we have no dues, we have no membership, we have not held any fundraisers, have no bank accounts, and have no money … Through our grassroots efforts, we have brought about honest crystal clear transparency, education to the community and an opportunity for the community to have a voice.”

In his complaint, McDonald wrote the BCCA acts as a political action committee, endorsing local candidates and positions on ballot questions. Additionally, he alleged that its “members collectively decide to raise and use private funds from their members while avoiding the filing of C &E (contributions and expense) reports as this activity is not through a central bank account.”

He did not provide any specific examples of the alleged actions and said it is about the “appearance of the collective whole” of the organization.

According to Nevada’s Secretary of State, “a PAC is any group of natural persons or entities that solicits or receives contributions from any other person, group or entity and makes or intends to make contributions to candidates or other persons or makes or intends to make expenditures designed to affect the outcome of any primary, general or special election or question on the ballot.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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