Working Families Party’s director fined $10,000 over lobbying

A failure to wear a lobbyist badge during the campaign to pass paid-sick days legislation has cost Jon Green of the Working Families Party a $10,000 fine, a stiff penalty resulting from being put on notice in a previous case about the state’s lobbying rules.

Green, the executive director of the party, entered into a stipulated agreement approved Thursday by the Citizens Ethics Advisory Board to pay the fine.

“The requirement to register as a lobbyist is designed to provide the public with transparency regarding lobbying activity,” said Carol Carson, the executive director of the Office of State Ethics. “Failure to register or wear a lobbyist badge subverts the public’s right to know who is influencing government action.”

Green acknowledged failing to complete his registration as a lobbyist, nor did he wear a badge until May 25, 2011, the date that the paid sick leave legislation passed the Senate.

Green was investigated two years ago, evidently after someone complained he was not wearing a lobbyist badge. He face no sanctions after convincing ethics officials that he did not meet the threshold for registering as a lobbyist, which is spending time lobbying worth $2,000 of salary.

In the 2009 case, he was put on notice as to the requirements of state ethics laws.