Aberdeen City Councilman runs afoul of state finance laws

Washington Public Disclosure Commission has levied fines before on Melvin Taylor

An alleged failure to submit paperwork regarding personal finances landed Aberdeen City Council member Melvin Taylor in hot water with the State of Washington Personal Disclosure Commission.

This is the second time Taylor has faced a hearing with the PDC.

The allegation against Taylor is that he did not disclose his personal finances via his Personal Financial Affairs Statement, which is an F-1 report. The report discloses financial activities for the 2021 calendar year, according to the PDC.

Taylor filed his F-1 report Wednesday night, Aug. 31, according to Kim Bradford, deputy director at PDC.

Taylor had until his hearing at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1, to turn in the report.

According to Bradford, Taylor also appeared at the Sept. 1 hearing. PDC Chairperson Fred Jarrett presided over the hearing.

Taylor could have received a fine of up to $500, had he not filed his report in time. Instead, he received a lighter monetary penalty.

“Chair Jarrett levied a $150 penalty, with $75 suspended provided Mr. Taylor pays the remaining $75 within 30 days and has no further violations within four years,” Bradford said.

The hearing was scheduled to be held remotely from Olympia with live audio and online transmission, according to Taylor’s notice of his hearing on Thursday, which is dated July 22.

Taylor originally had until April 15, 2022 to file the 2021 F-1 report. The fact he did not file before that date is what set his second incident with PDC in motion.

The F-1 reports are required of “all elected officials in jurisdictions of 2,000 registered voters or more,” according to the PDC.

This is the second instance of Taylor’s transgressions with PDC.

In 2021, Taylor was found in violation of not filing both his F-1 report and his campaign registration (C-1 report) on time.

“(The C-1 report) discloses office sought, reporting option, committee officers, treasurer’s name, contact for public campaign records inspection, and bank used for campaign account,” according to the PDC.

Taylor’s past violation regarding the F-1 report was because he failed to file it within two weeks of declaring his candidacy, or no later than June 4, 2021, according to a PDC Brief Enforcement Hearing Notice sent to him July 14, 2021. The notice was to let him know of his failures to file the C-1 and F-1 reports.

Taylor already owes $500 for his failure to file those past reports. That $500 fine has been sent from PDC to collections, according to Bradford.

“An order was entered (that) he owed $500,” said Bradford, noting that $200 would have been suspended — as in he wouldn’t have to pay — if he filed the report and paid the fine. “He failed to do that.”

The fine from those violations still hasn’t been paid.

According to Bradford, she said she thought he cited financial hardship for the reason why he didn’t pay, and asked for relief. At that point, Taylor was warned that he had to pay, or the $200 that was suspended would be reimposed.

“He failed to pay,” Bradford said.

The Daily World reached out to Taylor multiple times for comment, but did not receive a response.