DA investigates election irregularities in Jay Twp. Auditor race

At last month's meeting of the Jay Township board or supervisors, newly-elected township auditor John Bricen, fresh off his election day write-in victory over opponent Peggy Coppolo acknowledged a controversy involving improprieties with his campaign literature and a resultant complaint filed by Coppolo accusing him of violating election law."There seems to be some controversy over my handout literature having the proper documentation on the bottom, having a complaint filed, I understand that, that happens," Bricen said. The "documentation" referred to is a "disclaimer notice" which according to the Federal Election Committee serves to identify the person or organization "who paid for the communication and, where applicable, the person(s) who authorized the communication," on campaign literature, and advertisements. Coppolo claimed that the "disclaimer notice," which is required by the FEC on all "public communications...bulk email...and websites available to the general public," was not included on Bricen's campaign literature. Coppolo filed the complaint with Kimberley Fry, Elk County Director of Election, on Nov. 9 and with it submitted exhibits of Bricen's campaign advertisements which she claimed demonstrated his violation of election code. In a letter sent to Fry and subsequently forwarded to Coppolo, Elk County District Attorney Bradley Kraus explained his review of the items and his subsequent determination that the matter was not prosecutable and no criminal charges would be brought against Bricen.