The Alaskan city of Fairbanks has spent $7,000 to fight a $37.50 fine against its mayor, according to the Associated Press.
Mayor John Eberhart was ordered to pay the small fine for using an official government email address for business relating to his mayoral campaign.
The Alaska Public Offices Commission ordered city Mayor John Eberhart to pay the $37.50 fine in May after concluding he broke a state law in the October 2013 election by sending an email on his city council email account, The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports.
In that email, Eberhart, then a city council member, asked city staff to research resolutions and ordinances sponsored by Eberhart and his mayoral opponent Vivian Stiver. In the eyes of the commission, the records request equaled an illegal use of municipal resources to influence an election.
Eberhart, who was elected on the backs of local union and the Alaska Democratic Party, defends his use of city funds for his legal defense. A representative argued that the $37.50 fine has “huge ramifications” and says the election body is “overstepping its power” with the fine.
Fairbanks public funds used to defend the mayor thus far could have paid the fine 186 times.