This week another piece of campaign literature displaying the Rockville City Seal was delivered to voters by the campaign to elect Richard Gottfried to City Council (Friends of Richard Gottfried). This is the second time Gottfried has broken the City of Rockville Campaign Policy. The first time was also on a mailed postcard which arrived in voter boxes around October 17th, about a week and a half before the second violation.
The City of Rockville Campaign Policy clearly states, “The City of Rockville seal is copyrighted and cannot be used on campaign materials.” The rule is on the first page in a separate paragraph.
A formal complaint was filed with the Board of Supervisors of Elections on October 17, 2015. The Board met on October 26,2015 then sent the complaint to the City Manager’s office, which enforces the policy. Deputy City Manager Jennifer Kimball sent an email about his violation to Gottfried on October 28th. He was told to review the policy and “refrain from any use of the City seal on any campaign materials.”
With the second offense occurring at the same time he was formally notified by the City, a decision on his violation has yet to be made. Since this particular City policy is so prominent and is highlighted to the candidates, that many wonder why he broke the rule at all. If a candidate “knowingly and willfully” commits a violation, the person could be found “ineligible for any elected or appointed public office in the City for such period of time as the Board finds appropriate, but not be exceed eight (8) years.”