Justice of Peace candidate must publish apology
Tahoe Township Justice of the Peace candidate Ray Finnegan has been ordered to publish an apology for campaign claims he made about his opponent.
The state Committee on Judicial Ethics and Elections Practices listed the sanction in an Oct. 16 decision. The ruling followed a hearing Oct. 12.
Finnegan is running against Richard Glasson, an attorney with offices at Lake Tahoe, for the justice of the peace seat now held by Steve McMorris. McMorris is retiring.
Glasson complained that Finnegan misrepresented him in a Sept. 30 letter that was sent to 180 absentee voters. The letter said Glasson’s experience is only in civil law and he has never held a position as an administrator. Glasson also complained that Finnegan told people Glasson is a Democrat.
The job is a non-partisan office.
Finnegan conceded that the statement about Glasson’s legal experience was a “misstatement” but claimed he didn’t know Glasson had experience with criminal law.
“It was one of those honest mistakes that was made by some people that were helping me,” said Finnegan. “I should have checked it. It was my fault, sure, but was it malicious and intentional? Heavens, no.”
The committee ruled Finnegan “knowingly misrepresented” Glasson’s qualifications with regard to criminal law, but said there was insufficient evidence to find the comment about his administrative experience a knowing misrepresentation.
Glasson has been an administrator of his law firm and handled administrative law cases.
The committee also didn’t find proof for the allegation about Finnegan calling Glasson a Democrat.
To remedy the incorrect statement about Glasson’s legal experience, Finnegan will have to publish an apology stating he was wrong and that Glasson has experience with criminal law. The apology must also be mailed to the original recipients of the letter.