State Elections Enforcement Commission to investigate Hwang

On September 16,  the State Elections Enforcement Commission voted to authorize an investigation regarding a complaint made against State Representative Tony Hwang filed by members of the Executive Committee of the Fairfield Democratic Town Committee.

The complaint alleges that Representative Hwang, who is running for state Senate, failed to properly disclose wardrobe and signs purchased with campaign funds in his 2012 and 2014 SEEC filings. Hwang currently represents the 134th district, which includes Fairfield and part of Trumbull.

Under SEEC rules, the investigator will analyze documents, collect evidence and interview witnesses, and prepare an investigation report for the case manager and members of the Commission. The Commission may dismiss the matter, authorize the staff to try to resolve the matter without a hearing, find reason to believe that a violation of law occurred and proceed to a hearing, or refer the matter to the state’s attorney for criminal prosecution.

Heather Dean, Chairwoman of the Fairfield Democratic Town Committee, said: The State Elections Enforcement Committee’s rules are very clear on how expenditures are to be made,  documented and  accounted for post election.  After reviewing Rep. Hwang’s disclosure reports, we believe they are lacking in this area and need clarification. Candidates for the state legislature receive campaign funds from the state.  The taxpayers of Connecticut, who fund these campaigns, have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent.

Reached for comment, Hwang said he was “disappoint[ed] that the Democratic Town Committee is going down this path to weaponize the complaint process,” adding that “the complaint was filed by the Fairfield Democratic Town Committee less than 60 days before the election.”

Hwang said, “As a ranking member of the state government administration and elections committee, I respect that the Elections Enforcement Committee has a duty to investigate every complaint, no matter how trivial and baseless.”  Hwang added that he thought the accusations would “distract from the issues we really should be talking about.”