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Rauner Campaign Faces Fine Over Late Report

Illinois law requires that a contribution worth $1,000 or more has to be reported to the State Board of Elections.  And if it's just before an election, it has to happen right away.

After spending nearly $65 million, Gov. Bruce Rauner's campaign has been assessed for a report that was received late, according to director Steve Sandvoss, who says he can't give details.

"In light of fairness to the respondent and due fairness principles, we don't comment publicly on the nature of an ongoing proceeding,” he said, “but rather, we'll let the process bear itself out.

"There could be facts or circumstances that could be presented by the governor's representative to show that either the penalty was assessed in error, or if it was filed late were there circumstances that would excuse the late filing."

A hearing on the issue is scheduled Thursday in Chicago. An official will then make a recommendation to the state elections board.

"What appears on its face does not always mean what ultimately happened," Sandvoss said.

It's up to the elections board -- with some members who were recently appointed by Rauner -- to make a ruling. A spokesman for the governor says there was a "snafu." 

He says a firm hired to update filings prepared a report that was due Oct. 30 -- days before the election - but mistakenly failed to upload it. He says watchdogs were only in the dark eight hours; the report was in by 8 a.m. the following day.

Records show Rauner had given himself nearly $1.5 million dollars, that he'd banked $50,000 from the Republican Governor's Association, and $10,000 from the owner of Portillo's restaurants, on top of other donations ranging from $1,000 to $25,000.

With $20 million sitting in Rauner's campaign account, he'd have no trouble paying a potential fine.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.