Alaska’s campaign finance watchdog group has levied a $22,000 fine for a former Skagway Assemblyman.
The Alaska Public Offices Commission says there is sufficient evidence that longtime Skagway Assemblyman Dan Henry failed to disclose income information on his public office disclosure forms from 2011 to 2013.
Early this year, Henry pleaded guilty to multiple counts of failing to timely file federal income tax returns. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison and ordered to pay more than $600,000 in restitution to the IRS. In the plea agreement, Henry’s public office disclosure forms were referenced.
The forms are meant to provide transparency to the public about elected officials’ financial holdings. When filling out forms between 2010 and 2013, Henry reported receiving no income over $1,000 from the Skagway Fish Company Restaurant, which he owns.
After learning about the apparently incomplete filings, Skagway resident Roger Griffin lodged a complaint against Henry with APOC.
APOC staff investigated the complaint and found that there was cause for concern with Henry’s 2011, 2012 and 2013 financial disclosure forms. Staff said the amount of income that Henry left unreported ‘appears to be substantial.’
In late October, Henry’s case went to the commission. He told the commission that he misunderstood the income disclosure forms. Henry said he thought he was supposed to write down any individual purchases over $1,000. For example, if a single person bought a $2,000 meal. He said his restaurant didn’t see purchases that large, so he checked the ‘none’ box when indicating his restaurant income.
Henry’s explanation that it was an inadvertent mistake didn’t sway the commission.
The five-member board unanimously decided that there was enough evidence to levy a penalty for Henry’s incomplete filings. The maximum fine for the violations is upwards of $43,000. APOC staff recommended reducing the penalty by 50% because of the hefty fine Henry already faces from the IRS. The commission agreed, and assessed a $22,000 penalty for Henry.
Henry is no longer on the Skagway Borough Assembly. He turned in his letter of resignation in mid-October. The remaining assembly members appointed Spencer Morgan to Henry’s former seat.
On Nov. 1, Henry was required to report to a federal prison facility to serve out his year-and-a-day sentence.