Rep. Perez fined for campaign finance violations

PROVIDENCE – State Rep. Ramon A. Perez, D-Providence, was fined for campaign finance violations after an audit found that he used campaign funds for personal use and failed to accurately report other transactions.

The R.I. Board of Elections voted on Wednesday to fine Perez $6,000 and ordered him to reimburse his campaign bank account for the $1,072 he used for personal expenses.

Perez has agreed to pay the fine, with the first $3,000 due at the end of June 2023 and the second half due at the end of June 2024. He will also reimburse his campaign account.

Between January 2020 and March 2022, Perez reported $6,574 in loan proceeds and $8,595 in expenses which were not supported by campaign bank account statements, according to the audit by the Board of Elections. The audit also shows $5,653 in loan proceedings and contributions and 89 transactions totaling $7,831 in expenditures that appeared on campaign bank statements but were not reported in campaign reports.

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An additional $5,457 of campaign expenditures disclosed on campaign finance reports could not be validated and a $1,000 contribution from a Political Action Committee was misreported as received from a candidate.

In the audit, Perez told the board that he would often communicate contributions and expenses to his treasurer via phone, and that the treasurer did not review source documentation or campaign bank statements. He also explained he made some campaign purchases from his personal funds instead of his campaign account.

Perez acknowledged using funds from the campaign account for personal expenses, saying that “the campaign owed him money which allowed him to make the personal expenditure,” reads his response in the audit.

Claudia Chiappa is a PBN staff writer. You may contact her at Chiappa@PBN.com.

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