Candidate for Cook County office vows to clear up $17,500 in overdue fines

Chicago Ald. Rick Munoz has criticized his opponent for campaign finance issues.

September 13, 2011

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Ald. Ricardo Munoz of Chicago's 22nd Ward is running for Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Updated at 6:18 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13

A politician running for a Cook County office on a message of reform owes more than $17,000 dollars to Illinois' election board. Ald. Rick Munoz is promising to clear up the overdue fines.

Munoz is listed as chairman of a couple campaign funds, including one called the 22nd Ward Independent Political Organization.

The fund has racked up big fines this year for failing to file on-time campaign disclosure reports, which are supposed to list who gave the committee money, and how it spent that money. One of the reports was more than a year late.

All together, the 22nd Ward campaign fund owes $17,500 in overdue fines to the state board of elections.

Alderman Munoz's staff declined to make him available for an interview. But in a statement, his advisor, Andrew Sharp, said that fund has "essentially been inactive for the past few years." Munoz's filings show the account raised just $2,127.07 during the periods covered by the late reports.

"After being alerted to the fines by WBEZ, we plan to close this committee quickly and start conversations with the [board of elections] to resolve any and all outstanding fines," Sharp said.

Munoz is running for Cook County Circuit Court clerk in next year's election. Earlier this month, he criticized the incumbent, Dorothy Brown, for accepting campaign contributions from employees of her office.