Audit faults Todd’s 2015 campaign over financial record-keeping

Ward 4 D.C. Council member Brandon Todd participates in the annual Palisades Parade in 2015. (Brian Kapur/Current file photo)

More than $100,000 in campaign contributions to Ward 4 D.C. Council member Brandon Todd have inadequate documentation that leave their sources in question, according to a scathing audit released last Friday.

District auditors found that Todd’s 2015 campaign committee did not provide documentation for $69,367 in credit card deposits. Additionally, the campaign did not report at all 131 contributions that total $34,139 and did not provide “proper documentation” for six other deposits equaling $21,080, despite repeated requests from the Office of Campaign Finance.

The case has been sent to the Office of General Counsel, which could levy fines on Todd’s campaign.

Todd won a 2015 special election to fill the remainder of Muriel Bowser’s term, after she became mayor that year and endorsed Todd. The council member was re-elected to a full term last year, but the auditor’s report raises concerns only about the 2015 race.

Todd is an ally of the mayor and was her constituent services director when she served on the D.C. Council. Ben Soto, treasurer of Todd’s campaign, could not immediately be reached for comment. Soto, a businessman close within the mayor’s inner circle, has been treasurer for Bowser and former Mayor Adrian Fenty.

Auditors wrote in their report that they notified Todd’s campaign committee of their preliminary findings in March 2016, requesting additional documents to back up campaign funds. Despite being granted “several extensions of time to respond,” the committee missed deadlines and did not respond to auditors’ questions surrounding the source of campaign cash, according to the report.

Todd, who did not return a phone call on Tuesday, told NBC4 that he has begun filing requested documents with the Office of Campaign Finance. “I’m confident that this will be resolved very quickly,” he said.

The report concludes that discrepancies found were likely a result of “inadequate recordkeeping and the lack of adequate internal controls when receiving contributions and making expenditures.”

While Todd’s campaign committee submitted several amended financial reports with the Office of Campaign Finance, none of them fully addressed the scope of the office’s questions. Additionally, the filings “were incomplete and inadequate,” according to the report.