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thics ocket

38

Texas Ethics Commission

Sworn Complaints

Editor’s Note:

Only complaint orders involving judicial campaigns are summarized here. For the full text of the orders, visit:

http://www

.

ethics.state.tx.us/sworncomp/orderlst_issued.html

Date Issued

Violations

Sanction

11/14/14 Respondent is a District Judge. Respondent listed an individual as

the payee for a political expenditure that was meant to reimburse the

individual for invitations purchased for a fundraiser. The respondent

should have listed the ultimate vendor that the invitations were pur-

chased from as the payee. Respondent also improperly reimbursed

himself for political expenditures he made from personal funds. He

was required to itemize the expenditures from personal funds as po-

litical expenditures, and include clear designations that the expendi-

tures were subject to reimbursements. Respondent also did not suffi-

ciently describe an expenditure for a post office box when he listed the

payee as “Post Master” and description as “donation.” He also made

violations with other expenditures because the purpose descriptions

merely repeated the category of the expenditures. Respondent also

did not properly report political contributions because he left the prin-

cipal occupation, job title, and employer fields blank for 88 contribu-

tors. Finally, Respondent made a prohibited contribution to a county

executive committee for the purpose of political advertising when his

office was not on the ballot. The Commission found that there was no

evidence that the value of goods or services received exceeded the

amount of the contribution, and the contribution was over $250. (SC-

31207211)

$1,000 civil

penalty

11/19/14 Respondent was a candidate for District Judge. Respondent’s judi-

cial district had a population of less than 250,000. Respondent vio-

lated the Election Code by accepting political contributions of more

than $1,000 from an individual. Respondent accepted political con-

tributions from three married couples, with each person contributing

$750-$1,000. However, under the Election Code, a contribution by

a spouse or child of an individual is considered to be a contribution

from that individual. Therefore, respondent exceeded the contribution

limits by accepting $750-$1,000 from both spouses. (SC-31404111)

$400 civil

penalty

12/01/14 Respondent is a District Judge. Respondent failed to disclose the full

name of payees for political expenditures exceeding $100. He used

the abbreviations of “HTLA Golf” and “Victory Fund” instead of the full

names of the golf tournament and PAC. Respondent also listed staff

members as the payee for five political expenditures that were meant

to reimburse them for expenditures they made out of personal funds.

The respondent should have listed the actual vendor that the staff

purchased items from. Finally, the Commission found that Respon-

dent used political contributions to make a contribution to a political

committee exceeding $250, during a period in which he was not on

the ballot, and that Respondent failed to earmark the funds for non-

political purposes. (SC-3120375)

$300 civil

penalty