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Black Caucus in North Carolina fined

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Black Political Caucus was fined $4,500 for violating state campaign finance law, and ordered by the State Board of Elections to follow stricter public disclosure requirements.

Board members on Tuesday scolded the caucus for breaking the law just three years after it was warned about similar problems.

But the board declined to impose larger fines, and took no action against state Rep. Pete Cunningham, D-Charlotte, who loaned the caucus more than state law allows. The caucus broke the law by repaying the loan with money not meant for that purpose.

Kim Westbrook Strach, the state investigator who examined the case, disputed caucus officials' assertion that the violations were made through ignorance. She also said, in a report released Tuesday, that the caucus treasurer realized she was making a mistake but was overruled by its executive committee. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg black caucus fined over campaign finances (AP via WVEC.com)