“Maybe the last one I might have filed late,” Whiteside said. "They were filed by hand. ... I never use the computer because I’m not really computer literate.”
Whiteside said he had largely funded his own campaign, and had taken only two contributions while he was running for office, both for $500.
The maximum penalty for missed filings is $1,000 for the first instance, $10,000 for the second and $25,000 for the third and each subsequent violation. The late filing penalty is $125 per filing. Whiteside could be subject to more than $12,000 in fines.
David Emadi, the commission’s executive director, said penalties would be determined on a case-by-case basis.
Emadi said he came across the issues with Whiteside’s filings while investigating the solicitor’s employees.
Patsy Austin-Gatson, a Democrat, is running for District Attorney against the incumbent, Republican Danny Porter. Porter filed an ethics complaint against Austin-Gatson and two others earlier this month, claiming all three employees of the solicitor’s office were campaigning on county time and using county resources.
Austin-Gatson, her husband Travis Gatson and former sheriff’s candidate Curtis Clemons have all denied the claims.
Whiteside said Gatson’s decision to hand out information about his wife’s campaign while in Hall County on business “wasn’t very smart.” But he said the move was not corrupt.
“They’re just being dutiful,” Whiteside said of the investigation. “We don’t have anything to hide.”