Elections Supervisor John Abramson Jr. said Wednesday he will review the campaign-finance information submitted by Sen. Donald "Ducks" Cole before deciding whether additional formal proceedings are necessary.
Abramson presided over a brief hearing Wednesday to determine why the freshman St. Thomas-St. John district senator remains in non-compliance with campaign-finance reporting requirements.
The hearing was called after Abramson said he "had written in excess of a dozen letters to Cole concerning the missing reports" but had gotten no response.
Cole acknowledged in brief remarks during the proceedings that his delinquency was a case of negligence.
"I have no defense," he said. "It was negligence on my part. Instructions were given but not followed."
Cole admitted that he is solely responsible for the delinquency. "When you have an organization, the buck stops at the top."
The formal hearing into a candidate's failure to file required campaign-finance documents is a rare occurrence in the territory, but Abramson said he felt he had to demonstrate a determination to enforce the law.
"Because my approach to the issue of campaign disclosure is one of strict compliance, it is important that we move in this direction to make certain everyone follows the law," he said.
While many candidates, both successful and unsuccessful, have a history of late reporting, Abramson said there is generally compliance.
He said he supports the right of voters to know who backs candidates financially.