The Joint Commission on Public Ethics today announced that the lobbying organization Mercury Public Affairs has paid a $20,000 fine for failing to file and for submitting incomplete and inaccurate filings in 2011 and 2012.
The fine was part of a settlement agreement between Mercury and the Joint Commission that ended an investigation that began when Mercury self-reported problems with their filings.
According to the settlement agreement, a former Mercury employee's misfeasance and nonfeasance caused many of their filing problems. The employee was with Mercury from September 2011 to July 2012. During that time period, certain disclosures required to be made by Mercury were incomplete, inaccurate, or not filed at all. These missing, incomplete, and inaccurate filings related not only to Mercury's role as a retained lobbyist, but also as a lobbying client, and as a lobbyist lobbying on its own behalf.
Mercury has indicated that it has since submitted all required registrations and filings and amended any inaccuracies in its disclosures during the 2011-2012 period.
The settlement agreement is available below. Lobbyist and client registrations and disclosure filings are available to the general public on the Commission's website.