Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kevorkian lawyer and Edwards backer fined by FEC

The Federal Elections Commission closed another chapter on John Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign today when a Michigan attorney and his law firm agreed to pay a $131,000 fine for violating campaign finance laws in Edwards' 2004 presidential campaign.

The FEC found probable cause of campaign finance violations against the attorney, his firm and his law partner. A settlement was reached in October.

Fieger, who once represented assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian, and his partner were acquitted in federal court last year of illegally funneling money into Edwards' 2004 campaign.

They were indicted on charges of illegally funneling $127,000 to Edwards' campaign by recruiting 64 people, known as straw donors, to give the then-maximum allowable amount of $2,000 per donor. According to the Associated Press, Fieger testified that the donors were reimbursed, but the payments to his staffers were bonuses and any employee contributions to Edwards were voluntary.

Jurors said they found Fieger not guilty because the government failed to prove he knew he was breaking the law.