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Judge to hear Quelland’s case this week

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission’s decision to remove Rep. Doug Quelland from office will be contested this week before an administrative law judge.

On Aug. 3, attorneys representing the commission and Quelland filed a list of witnesses and exhibits they plan on using when they argue in front of Administrative Law Judge Thomas Shedden on Aug. 6 and 7.

In May, the commission voted to remove Quelland from office and fine him $45,000 after determining the Phoenix Republican entered and failed to report a $15,000 political consulting contract to help operate his 2008 campaign for office.

The commission’s finding put Quelland, who campaigned with public funds, well over established campaign expenditure limits for the 2008 election cycle. The $15,000 contract put Quelland over a 10 percent overspending threshold that triggers a publicly funded officeholder’s removal from office.

However, Quelland has maintained that he terminated the political consulting contract signed with Larry Davis, owner of Intermedia Public Relations, just days after signing the agreement in March of 2007.

That version of events has been strongly opposed by Davis, who has testified before the commission that he and his company performed many tasks for Quelland’s campaign, including the collecting of nominating signatures, organizing events and purchasing campaign-related material.

According to an Aug. 3 filing with the Office of Administrative Hearings, Quelland intends to provide several witnesses to testify on his behalf, including himself, political consultant Constantin Querard, and District 10 Republican Precinct Committeeman Kenneth Hopkins.

Based on the filing, it appears Querard and several others will be called upon to back Quelland’s contention that Davis did not serve as his political consultant during the 2008 election cycle. Quelland has argued before the commission that his previous arrangements with Davis were for the sole purpose of advertising businesses owned by Quelland.

Quelland also informed Shedden that he intends to question or call any witnesses presented by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission. The filing also indicates Quelland will include an assortment of invoices from Intermedia Public Relations and checks from his business, Q-Land Enterprises, among his exhibits.

Calls to Quelland’s attorney, Tim Casey, were not returned.

The filing by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission indicates commission staff, including Executive Director Todd Lang, will be called as witnesses to demonstrate the purpose of and rules governing publicly funded campaigns, as well as the commission’s process for handling campaign finance-related complaints against candidates.

The commission also intends to question several employees of Intermedia Public Relations about their relationship with Quelland.

Invoices, copies of nominating petition forms, checks to Intermedia Public Affairs that were written by Quelland, and e-mails of the company’s employees are also among the commission’s list of included exhibits.

Lang said the commission’s presentation before Shedden will contain “no surprises,” as all the material already helped form the commission’s May decision to order that Quelland be removed from office.

Lang said that he was unaware of any new information that will be presented by Quelland or his attorney to support the lawmaker’s claim that he fired Davis as a political consultant.

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