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Ada County Clerk: No violations in Sanchez's 2022 campaign expenditures

Boise City Council Member Lisa Sánchez
Posted at 3:40 PM, Feb 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-24 17:40:10-05

This article originally written and published by Don Day,

The Ada County Clerk’s office said former city council member Lisa Sánchez’s campaign expenditures in 2022 passed muster with the clerk and Ada Co. prosecutor.

The office looked into the issue after “reports of alleged violations of the Sunshine Act.”

As the Idaho Press reported last month, Sánchez reported spending $14,665 in campaign donations last year – a non-election year. The newspaper noted that in one case, Sánchez said she spent $222 on ads with the paper, but a review of internal records showed the money appeared to cover her newspaper subscription, not ads. Sánchez later filed an amendment over the Idaho Press expenditure.

RELATED | Former Boise City Councilmember's campaign spending under review following complaint

The Idaho Press also detailed several meal expenses Sánchez reported – including one where she purchased a meal after a Boise City Council meeting.

The former council member told the paper that “the expenditures made in 2022 were in compliance” with state law dictating that campaign expenses “be ordinary and necessary expenses incurred in connection with the duties of the individual as an officeholder,” as the state code reads.

Ada County Elections Director Saul H. Seyler wrote a letter to Sánchez, which her attorney provided to BoiseDev.

“…Ada County Elections has reviewed the matter with the assistance of attorneys from the Ada County Prosecutor’s Office and determined that the expenditures comply with Idaho law,” Seyler wrote. “Accordingly, we conclude that no further investigation is necessary at this time.”

Sánchez said in a statement that she was pleased with the news.

“I appreciate the work of the Ada County Elections office and I am pleased they have confirmed my campaign expenditures comply with Idaho law,” she wrote. “I am committed to transparency as I do the work I love in serving the people of Boise.”

Sánchez vies for former seat

Sánchez is no longer a city council member after she briefly moved out of her council district. Sánchez’s attorney, former US Attorney Wendy Olson, sent the city two letters demanding she be reappointed to the seat. The city has not taken action on the letters but said it is using outside counsel in the matter.

RELATED | Future of City Council member's seat remains unclear after confusion over district lines and new address

Separately, Sánchez has applied to the city for reappointment to the position – one of 53 people to say they were interested in one of two open council seats.

Boise Mayor Lauren McLean is expected to make a decision in the coming weeks on who to appoint to Sánchez’s former seat – as well as a seat council member Elaine Clegg is expected to vacate soon. McLean’s appointments would need to be confirmed by the remaining city council members.