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SALT LAKE CITY — Mark Crockett, the GOP candidate for Salt Lake County mayor, has been ordered to return $5,500 in donations that violated campaign finance rules, the Salt Lake County Democratic Party announced Monday.
Crockett's campaign manager, Randy O'Hara, notified the county clerk in a letter that the money will be promptly refunded, even though the campaign continues "to disagree with the interpretation of the rules and believe our reading is correct."
O'Hara told the clerk's office the campaign looks "forward to working with you to clarifiy the language in the rules next year."
The county Democratic party had filed a complaint accusing Crockett of accepting donations in excess of the county's $6,000 limit. In a letter dated Sept. 21, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office cited three donations to Crockett that must be refunded.
Deputy district attorney Melanie Mitchell said in the letter that the Crockett campaign's understanding that contributions are limited to $2,000 per election cycle is incorrect and that the only cap on contributions is $6,000 from one general election until the next.
The campaign has been notified by the Salt Lake County Clerk's office that it has 10 days to return the contributions identified as in excess of the limit and 14 days to file an amended financial disclosure report.
Two individuals contributed a total of $8,000 each to Crockett, and one company gave a total of $7,500, according to the district attorney's letter. There is no penalty if the money in question is returned by Thursday, which would be within the 10-day limit.
In 2008, Crockett was ordered to return $2,000 in contributions in excess of the limit from the Salt Lake County Republican Party.