Sharpton Fined, But Feels Vindicated in FEC Probe

The amount of the fine is substantial

The Rev. Al Sharpton says he feels vindicated by the outcome of a federal probe of election law violations during his 2004 presidential campaign.

The Federal Election Commission announced Thursday that Sharpton's campaign and his civil rights group would pay combined fines of $285,000 for breaking a variety of campaign finance rules.

While the amount of the fine is substantial, Sharpton says investigators found no evidence that his staff willfully violated the law.

He says his civil rights group will pay its $77,000 share of the fine immediately. His dormant campaign organization will throw a fundraiser to come up with the rest.

FEC investigators say Sharpton's civil rights group and two businesses he owns improperly covered some of his campaign expenses.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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