March 2, 2024

Rodrick Sparks (current LSR7 Board President and candidate for re-election) and Juanice Williams (candidate for LSR7 school board) filed their “40 Days Before Election” with the Missouri Ethics Commission on the same date, Feb. 22, 2024. These regularly required reports include detailed information on campaign donations received and campaign-related expenses. Both reports for their respective candidate committees had glaring errors and omissions. Were these reporting gaps intentional or an accidental oversight? Either way, both candidates signed off on the reports’ accuracy prior to submission, so at a minimum, the lack of attention to detail should raise red flags.

Friends to Elect Juanice Williams claimed exactly $30.87 in expenses for the reporting period beginning Jan. 1, 2024 and ending Feb. 17, 2024. During this reporting period, the committee ran Meta (Facebook) marketing advertising beginning Feb 4th, with the last ad closing on Feb. 18th, a total of $265 in expenditures. None of those fees are captured in Williams’ report. Additionally, on Feb. 8th, Williams attended a campaign event at Iron Horse Grill, where custom cookies with her campaign logo were distributed. In photos of the event on Facebook, attendees are photographed holding campaign literature with Williams’ campaign photo on them. Even if the cookies and the venue space were donated, there would be an in-kind donation noted, but this is not the case. Campaign literature often costs hundreds of dollars for quality glossy cardstock. This expense is also nowhere to be found in the most recent report.

Friends for Rod Sparks’ Feb. 22nd report was rife with errors. The committee reported “total receipts this election” in the exact amount of the 2021 school board campaign’s total contribution amount– $9,384.61. With Sparks’ current campaign donations, the 2021 donation totals included make the 2024 campaign appear to have received $14,393.07 in contributions, which does not add up in comparison to the “receipts” and “disbursements” for the period. The actual totals for the 2024 campaign to date is $5,002.00, which is a $9,000 difference compared to what was claimed on the report. How is such a glaring error missed by both the treasurer and the candidate? This oversight certainly makes a person wonder what other errors and omissions have not been addressed.

Mark Black