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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Peterson, other candidates in compliance with campaign statutes

  • Shawnee Mayor Linda Peterson filed her campaign contribution report Thursday and, despite previous information to the contrary, is in complete compliance with state campaign law.


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  • Shawnee Mayor Linda Peterson filed her campaign contribution report Thursday and, despite previous information to the contrary, is in complete compliance with state campaign law.

    City Clerk Phyllis Loftis said Wednesday the filing deadline for contribution and expenditure reports was June 10, which meant that Peterson, challenger Ed Cole, and commission candidates Jo Davis, Jeannetta Townes and incumbent Billy Collier had missed the deadline.
    “I got my information from a city commissioner,” Loftis said. “I was just absolutely going on [that] information. I didn’t call the ethics commission. I figured he knew, he had been checking it, he’s had more than one election. I should have done my homework.”
    According to State Ethics Commission Executive Director Marilyn Hughes, the deadline to file the report is Monday, June 18. The reports must be filed between June 12 and 18, and candidates must report contributions on or before June 11, Hughes said.
    Therefore, Peterson, Cole, Davis, Townes and Collier are currently in compliance with state law, contrary to what was reported in Thursday’s edition of the News-Star.
    Peterson filed her report with the city clerk’s office Thursday.
    “I’m sorry that [Thursday’s] article went out with that kind of information without [the News-Star] having called me, so I could show the information that I have about the deadlines for this (contribution) report,” Peterson said. “Because I do believe … that my report was filed on time.”
    Mayoral candidate Wes Mainord, commissioner James Harrod, Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG), commissioner can­didate Linda Agee filed their reports before the specifiewd dates and, subsequently, are partially out of compliance with state law.
    Those candidates will need to re-file their reports before Monday to be in total compliance with campaign statutes, Hughes said.
    “If they reported any contributions or expenditures correctly, then they have partially complied, even if they haven’t listed all that they should have,” Hughes said. “If they want to be correct … if they want to cover the period that is required, they should re-file.” Harrod and Agee, Phil Tomlinson for the CRG, all said they filed early because they believed the deadline was June 10.
    “We were told through a reliable source that worked on campaigns for numerous years … that we were to have it in by the 10th, which I did,” Harrod said.
    The statutes mandate that candidates report contributions in a specific time frame before the election in order to give the public full transparency, Hughes said.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It gives the public access to information as close to the election as possible,” she said. “If they file it too early, they aren’t giving [the public] the information that they should’ve.”
    The enforcement of campaign statutes is up to the local district attorney.
     

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