MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont attorney general’s office and a 2014 candidate for lieutenant governor announced Tuesday that they had reached a $255 settlement for accepting a mass email from the state Democratic Party and then not reporting it.
As part of the settlement, Dean Corren agreed to pay the money to a Vermont charity. It represents the estimated value of the emails supporting his campaign that were sent to more than 16,000 people, which was considered to be an in-kind contribution.
Corren ran unsuccessfully under the Democratic and Progressive party banners. In a news release, he said his campaign had offered 10 different times to pay the Vermont Democratic party for any support it gave his campaign. He said the attorney general’s office had prevented him from making the payment.
“We achieved everything we wanted,” Corren said.
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The case had been scheduled to go to trial next month.
A separate federal lawsuit filed by Corren against the state, in which he argued aspects of the campaign finance law were unconstitutional, is continuing.
The attorney general’s office filed suit against Corren in 2015 alleging that the email violated campaign finance law because Corren had accepted more than $180,000 in public money for his campaign. In exchange for accepting public money, candidates agree to abide by restrictions on private contributions.
When the suit was originally filed in 2015, the attorney general’s office had sought a total of $72,000 — $52,000 in public funds that Corren’s campaign was estimated to have when the email was sent and up to $20,000 in fines.