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Chicago Board of Ethics fines mayoral runner-up Paul Vallas $10,500 for campaign finance violation

Paul Vallas hit with $10,500 fine from Chicago Board of Ethics
Paul Vallas hit with $10,500 fine from Chicago Board of Ethics 00:55

CHICAGO (CBS)-- The Chicago Board of Ethics is fining mayoral runner-up Paul Vallas $10,500 for violating the city's campaign finance rules.

In November, the board determined Vallas had violated campaign contribution limits by accepting a $5,000 campaign donation despite the cap of $1,500 on individual campaign contributions to candidates for city office.

If Vallas had refunded the $3,500 excess amount of the contribution, the board would have dropped the case, but Vallas did not respond to the board's notice. 

The board said the contributor also sought to secure a refund of the excess amount, but got no response from the Vallas campaign.

This month, the board voted unanimously to fine Vallas the maximum of three times the amount of the excess contribution, or $10,500.

Vallas lost to Mayor Brandon Johnson in the runoff election last April. 

Meantime, Johnson is also under the microscope for a possible campaign finance violation, after the ethics board found a lobbyist had contributed to his campaign. That violates an executive order banning city lobbyists and city contractors from making campaign contributions to mayors.

The ethics board has referred the matter to the city's inspector general for a full investigation. In this case, while the mayor does not face any potential penalties, the lobbyist who contributed to his campaign could be fined or lose their ability to work at City Hall.

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