TL;DR – The Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff’s Association (KCDSA) appears to have broken numerous campaign finance laws.
- The Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff Association or KCDSA was formed 38 years ago and is currently registered as a nonprofit corporation in Idaho.
- The Association claims they are a 501(c)(4), but they are not listed on the IRS search portal.
- The corporation has been administratively dissolved over the years at least four times for failing to follow reporting requirements.
- The KCDSA is currently delinquent in their annual reporting requirements.
- It is important to understand how the term “Person” is defined under Idaho code 67–6602(19): “Person” means an individual, corporation, association, firm, partnership, committee, political party, club or other organization or group of persons.
- The KCDSA formed a political action committee on June 2, 2020; prior to that, the KCDSA qualified as a “nonbusiness entity” under Idaho code 67–6602(18)
- The majority of this PAC’s initial $15,000 funding came from a man named Dave Chapman who contributed $10,000.
- Idaho Code 67-6606 requires all nonbusiness entities to file a statement that includes at least “The name and address of the nonbusiness entity and the name and address of its principal officer or directors.” and the name and address of each person who has given $500 in either of the preceding two years.
- Based on when the KCDSA mailed out their first election communication, the statement should have been filed sometime back in May. Idaho code 67-6606 (2)
- Depending on how the KCDSA obtained text messages between Norris and Bauer that were printed in their recent CDA Press ad, other laws may have been violated.
The Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff’s Association was originally founded in Idaho in 1982. Several times over the course of the last 38 years the entity has been administratively dissolved by the State of Idaho for failing to follow basic guidelines for maintaining a business entity in this state: mainly that each entity shall file an annual statement which simply names its officers, lists a “registered agent,” and verifies their address. In fact, this organization is currently in violation of state law and has not registered an annual filing this year.
The Association claims they are a 501(c)(4) non-profit. The original filing (in Idaho) of the organization lists it as a “nonprofit organization” incorporated under the laws of the State of Idaho. The organization does not appear on any IRS searches or revocation lists. Our research indicates it is not a 501c3, 501c4, or c5 organization. There is no organization listed on the IRS website with the name “Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff’s Association” or any iteration of that name. The closest match in Idaho is “Bonneville County Deputy Sheriffs”, which lost its tax-exempt status in 2010.
501(c)(4) organizations are tax-exempt, but donations to them are generally not tax-exempt. If the KCDSA is a 501(c)(4) as they claim, and considering that the KCDSA recently endorsed one candidate and has spent considerable time, effort, and funds to promote that candidate, they may face scrutiny from the IRS. The IRS states: “To be tax-exempt as a social welfare organization, the earnings of section 501(c)(4) organization may not inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual.
Judging from the activities of late, the KCDSA acts more like a Political Action Committee, or PAC, than a nonprofit. In fact, they are registered with the State of Idaho as a PAC. This PAC’s treasurer is Kootenai County detention deputy Daniel Valk, a recently retired California police officer from Vacaville.
The vast majority of this PAC’s initial $15,000 funding came from a man named Dave Chapman who contributed $10,000
Financial confusion and failure to file required reports.
Idaho campaign finance laws require monthly finance reports to be filed with the Idaho Secretary of State. The penalty for late filing of campaign finance reports is $50.00 per day per Idaho Code 67-6625A. In addition to monthly reporting requirements, any donations of $1000 or more must be reported within 48 hours 67-6607(3). Any “electioneering communication” costing $1000 or more must also be reported within 48 hours. 67-6628(3)
Here is where the questions start for the Kootenai County Deputy Sheriff’s association:
The KCDSA formed a political action committee on June 2, 2020; prior to that, the KCDSA “association” qualified as a “nonbusiness entity” under Idaho code 67–6602(18).
They organized their PAC on June 2, 2020, but there are donations to the PAC dated April 1, 2020. This causes one of the following issues:
- Either the PAC was 2 months late in filing the required 48-hour notice of receiving $15,000
- Or the “Association” did not file a statement by a nonbusiness entity and did not file any reports of independent expenditures.
Another issue with the KCDSA forming a PAC:
Idaho code 67-6602 defines a “Political committee” as:
(a) Any person specifically designated to support or oppose any candidate or measure; or
(b) Any person who receives contributions and makes expenditures in an amount exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in any calendar year for the purpose of supporting or opposing one (1) or more candidates or measures.
Remember “person” also means “committee” under Idaho law.
Did the KCDSA receive contributions in excess of $1000 to support Robert “Bob” Norris for Kootenai County Sheriff? If so, did the people donating know that was where the money would be spent?
Delinquent report filings
Apart from their initial filing in June as a PAC, where they disclosed their April donations and expenses, and in spite of having mailed out numerous publications which endorse Norris for Sheriff, as well as taking out full-page ads in the Coeur d’Alene press debasing Norris’ opponents, the KCDSA PAC failed to file even the minimal campaign finance disclosures required by law over the past 6 months. That is, until The Idaho Report inquired about it. We contacted the Idaho Secretary of State to ask if the KCDSA had filed the required reports. Our first inquiry was on October 5, 2020, followed by a request for an investigation on October 7. The KCDSA filed a report for April on 10/7/2020.
The Idaho Report contacted KCDSA President Sgt. Jeremy Hyle and Treasurer Daniel Valk Friday, October 9. We asked why they had not filed any reports. We have not yet received a response; however, the May, June, July, August, and September reports were filed on October 12, 2020.
Reports still missing:
There is at least one report yet to be filed. On May 24, the PAC received $8000 from the KCDSA, the “Association”. There should have been a 48-hour filing on that amount. 67-6607(3)
With the leadership at KCDSA so focused on supporting Republican Candidate Robert “Bob” Norris for Sheriff, they have repeatedly failed to uphold their responsibilities under the law, which is unusual for an “association” made up of law enforcement personnel.
Does the Deputy Sheriff’s Association represent the members of the Sheriff’s Office or is a small group of supporters using the organization for their own purposes?
Were they derelict in filing proper and timely reports in order to conceal the more than $17,000 they spent on political activities or was this simply collective incompetence?
Who donated the money to the “Association” that was given to the PAC?
Who decided to transfer money from the “association” to the PAC?
How long will it take for them to file that missing 48-hour notice once they read it here?
Let us all hope that they are better at filing accurate and timely crime reports.
Whatever the case, it is high time that the members of the KCDSA start asking for the truth from the association leadership. Like, how did they overlook the fact that Norris was living and working, or at least seeking employment, through 2016 in California when the KCDSA tells us he was a resident of Kootenai County. More on that later…
Obtain your own copy of the finance reports at https://elections.sos.idaho.gov/TED/CampaignPublicPortal/Summary.aspx
Follow TheIdahoReport.com for more facts as we pursue the truth.
The Kootenai County Sheriffs Office; public record request inconsistencies.
The Timeline: What the KCDSA missed, including intent to defraud Kootenai County