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Hanchar fined by state

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Councilwoman violated state elections statute

By Jeff Bryan

More than six months after winning her re-election bid for city council, Valerie Porter-Hanchar was fined May 14 by the Florida Elections Commission.

Hanchar was fined $250 what the Elections Commission deemed a “minor violation,” pursuant to Rule 2B-1.003, Florida Administrative Code. In addition, Hanchar was required to pay her attorney’s fees on the complaint, which was filed Oct. 18, 2018, by her opponent’s spouse, Charles MacIntrye. His wife, Pam Kern, had sought Seat No. 4, having lost to Hanchar, 408-373, in the November 2018 General Election.

According to the consent order, Hanchar neither admitted nor denied she violated FSS Section 106.143(1)(a). Hanchar agreed to review FSS Chapter 106 to avoid future violations of the chapter as well as correct immediately, if feasible, the violations alleged in the complaint.

When anyone running for any office receives a letter from the Florida Elections Commission it makes one shutter, Hanchar said.

“My stomach immediately knotted I couldn’t imagine why I was receiving a letter,” she said. “I take pride in following the rules, it’s ethical along with my personal values. I truly have always respected and appreciated the job that the FEC does to protect the candidates and the public.”

Hanchar praised the FEC staff for its helpfulness and was very cordial to her when she spoke with them regarding the complaint made by her opponents husband.

“The small fine was paid and it is over,” Hanchar said. “There was no wrong doing by myself on this campaign or any other campaigns I have ran in. I hold my head high and am proud of the way I ran a civil, legal and cordial election. I look forward to continuing to serve the Dunnellon residence and our neighbors.”

According to the documents obtained by the RIverland News, the Florida Elections Commission ruled the second-term councilwoman violated Florida State Statutes Section 106.143(1)(a), F.S., regarding political advertisements circulated prior to the election, states: “(l)(a) Any political advertisement that is paid for by a candidate, except a write-in candidate, and that is published, displayed, or circulated before, or on the day of, any election must prominently state: 1. “Political advertisement paid for and approved by (name of candidate) , (party affiliation) , for ( office sought) “; or 2. “Paid by (name of candidate) , (party affiliation) , for (office sought).”

There were no other violations of FSS Chapter 104 or Chapter 106 in the complaint, according to the Elections Committee.

“She was quoted in your newspaper as running a CLEAN campaign — so much for that!!!” MacIntrye wrote to the Riverland News. “Between election violations and her daughter ripping up opposing candidate’s flyers — she sets a great example for Dumb-ellon.”

According to the complaint filed by MacIntrye, Hanchar posted signs that did not meet state statutes at the following locations:

* Corner of Pennsylvania Ave. and Bostick Street.

* Entrance to the Blue Cove subdivision located on Pennsylvania Ave. next door to Swampy’s Restaurant.

* Numerous signs on Camp Drive and Quail Run Drive in Blue Cove subdivision.

* At the entrance to the new Publix on U.S. 41 in Dunnellon.

When the complaint was made known to Hanchar, she said she personally went out and took pictures of her campaign signs that were still where they had been placed as some mysteriously disappeared, she said.

“The commission received the pictures from myself and my opponent’s husband and I assume they looked at it as he said, she said,” she added.