By Diane Krizek
On April 25, the Missouri Ethics Commission heard the appeal case for Tom Lovell for House of Representatives that was fined $900 for late filing fees. The 48-hour report was due after he made a personal loan contribution of $10,000 to his campaign on Dec. 4. The 48-hour report is required when any activity takes place whether expenditure or contribution.
The omitted 48-hour report became evident when the January Quarterly was filed listing the $10K loan contribution. On Feb. 23, the MEC notified the candidate committee of the omission and the committee filed the report March 6 but by then it had incurred $900 in late fees.
MEC General Council Liz Ziegler recommended denial of the appeal because there was no good cause for the committee not filing the required 48-hour report. She said ignorance of ethics law was not a viable excuse because candidate committees are provided plenty of information. “Personal loans have always been considered contributions,” said Ziegler. The death of the committee’s treasurer did not contribute to the failure to file the report which was due Dec. 6, she said.
The committee treasurer at that time was Gene Gamber who passed away on March 7 this year. Julia Hampton who is the current treasurer for Foundations of our Future is now treasurer of Tom Lovell for House of Representatives.
The commissioners invited comment from Lovell who teleconferenced to the hearing with campaign members Julia Hampton CPA, John Lovell of Lovell LLC; Mike McCormick, former Lee’s Summit prosecutor; and Rick Viar, president of Summit Bank. McCormick was the only one who spoke up on Lovell’s behalf declaring “that there was no real intent to hide” because the loan contribution was “revealed” on the January Quarterly and the report was “only” 90 days late.
The commissioners unanimously voted to accept Ziegler’s recommendation to deny Lovell’s late filing fee appeal. An invoice will be mailed to Lovell’s campaign committee, due on receipt.