Meijer Elections Fine Largest Ever in State

May 13, 2008
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LANSING — Meijer Inc. has agreed to pay $190,138 for violations of campaign finance laws in its effort to build a store in GrandTraverseCounty's AcmeTownship

The Secretary of State's office said the fine is the highest civil penalty possible, and is the largest ever levied under state law. It includes $11,000 in fines for payments made to Grand Rapids public relations firm Seyferth Spaulding Tennyson for its work on a recall election last year.

Part of the conciliation agreement requires the Grand Rapids-based retailer to institute internal controls to prevent similar violations in the future.

The company spent $46,463 in an August 2005 referendum on a township moratorium on big-box development. With penalties and late filing fees, Meijer will pay $55,263.

Meijer spent $55,437 in corporate funds on a February 2007 election in an effort to recall AcmeTownship officials, according to the Secretary of State's statement. Those expenditures should have been incurred by Meijer's political action committee, the statement concluded.

With fines and penalties, the company will pay a $134,875 fine for its activities in the recall election. That payment includes penalties of $1,000 each for 11 payments made to SST and nine payments made to law firm Dickinson Wright.     

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