WASHINGTON – A federal audit released Thursday faults the Maine Republican Party for a long list of record-keeping violations in 2007 and 2008, including filing inaccurate reports on spending and debts.

The Federal Election Commission’s audit did not assess any penalties for the record-keeping violations Thursday but left the door open for enforcement.

The proposed final audit report approved by the FEC on Thursday covered 2007 and 2008. Among its findings:

• The party misstated its financial activity during the two-year period by underreporting or overreporting money spent, money received or cash on hand.

• The party underreported $103,721 in debts and other obligations to other organizations.

• The party incorrectly listed and itemized $531,805 in expenditures from its federal accounts in its reports to the FEC. In some cases, the party did not have sufficient records to properly classify the expenditures.

• The party improperly reported $56,601 spent on campaign-related printed materials as operating expenditures rather than “independent expenditures.”

In many cases, the Republican Party subsequently corrected the information after hearing from the auditors. But in some instances, the FEC said, the party could not supply sufficient records or information to allow the auditors to reach a conclusion.

The time covered by the audit overlaps with bookkeeping services provided by Constance Wilkins of Embden, who pleaded guilty in 2009 to felony theft and forgery for embezzling nearly $50,000 from the party.

While that was noted in the FEC report, the commission had conducted a reconciliation audit of the party’s books in 2008, after being notified of the events.

Philip Roy, who was the party’s treasurer during the time period, later resigned after he moved around party money and federal dollars in 2009 to enable him to buy a camper. Roy repaid the money. That incident is not noted in the FEC report.

The FEC periodically does audits of when an organization fails to meet a certain threshold for compliance with federal election law.

Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:

kmiller@mainetoday.com

On Twitter: @KevinMillerDC