Two women who have done work for the Rev. Richard P. Dunn’s campaign say they were paid in cash — a violation of state election law if true — and that they were not paid as many times as the front-runner for Miami’s District 5 seat claims on his most recent campaign finance report.
Loretta Richards and Regina Jackson told the Miami Herald on Monday that on some of the days they worked for the campaign, usually knocking on doors or handing out fliers, they were given $20 or $30 at the end of the day.
Richards, 52 and unemployed, said she worked for the Dunn campaign for about three weeks until mid October. Jackson, 51 and also looking for work, said she’s been with the campaign for about six months.
“I was paid maybe $150 or $180 altogether, $20 a day, maybe eight times,” said Richards. “I was paid in cash, never a check.”
Dunn’s most recent report filed with the Miami city clerk’s office on Friday shows his campaign paid a group of seven women a total of $18,283.60 in 43 installments between July 1 and Sept. 27.
Except for two occasions totaling $80 in cash, the payments were listed as being paid by check. Each payment is shown as being made to the whole group, not broken out by individual names.
The checks ranged in amounts from a low of $60 on Sept. 5 to a high of $3,000 on Sept. 27.
The report does not list the women individually or give their addresses, both requirements under state law.
State election laws require campaign workers be paid by check. A violation can result in a fine as much as three times the dollar figure involved, plus $1,000. Dunn is the leading fundraiser and favorite to replace Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones in the Nov. 5 election as representative of District 5. He’s being challenged by Jacqui Colyer, Keon Hardemon and Robert Malone Jr.
Florida Elections Commission spokeswoman Brittany Lesser said that, with minor exceptions, cash payments are not permitted for campaign expenses.
“The statute says it has to be in a bank check,” Lesser said.
Jackson, the Dunn campaign worker, said on days she worked someone would usually buy her water or lunch and pay her $20 or $30 at the end of the day — but nowhere near the 43 times in the past three months that Dunn’s campaign report indicates.
“They just throw you something. You’re out there working, sweating.”
She said she was paid only in cash, and not every time she worked. Jackson said she was usually given small cards with Dunn’s biography on them and was told to pass them around. She said she was told a bigger payday would come if Dunn won the seat.
“Really, we have to wait until the end,” she said.
Besides Richards and Jackson, the other women listed as being paid by the campaign are Vashawn Jackson, Carol Thomas, Gwen Thompson, Darcene Potter and Angela Chain.
Dunn did not return calls to his cellphone or home phone seeking comment. But in a statement released late Monday night, his campaign manager, Greg King, said some of the checks were written to him and he paid some of the women in cash because they didn’t have bank accounts.
“As campaign manager for Richard Dunn, I am responsible for payments to campaign workers. In the interest of expediting payment to our dedicated campaign workers in a timely manner, some of the workers were paid in cash,” said King.