Archive for Saturday, May 17, 2003

Senator blasts Ethics Commission for fines

May 17, 2003


— Sen. David Haley says he was singled out by the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission for an investigation that resulted in a $1,500 fine for failure to report finances properly.

The commission, however, said it must uphold the law.

"I am constantly amazed at the minutiae generated by this so-called ethics commission," Haley said Friday.

The Ethics Commission on Thursday fined Haley, D-Kansas City, $300 each on four counts of filing campaign finance reports late for his 2000 Senate bid. He received a fifth fine of $300 for errors with a bank account from his unsuccessful campaign for secretary of state this fall.

Haley said he did not plan to pay the fines and would examine his options for appeal with attorneys. His request for abatement at Thursday's commission hearing was denied.

Carol Williams, executive director of the commission, said Haley had habitually been late with his filings. In 2000, he was the only candidate -- out of 1,400 people running for local and state offices -- to file his papers late.

"We have laws that have to be administered. That's our job and we have to treat everybody the same way," Williams said.

Haley also was fined $2,300 this past fall for failing to appoint a campaign treasurer within the required time and not filing subsequent paperwork on time. Williams said Haley was the only candidate not to have appointed a treasurer. Haley said he was his own treasurer.

The commission scrutinized his 2000 filings only after he decided to run for secretary of state -- an administration that is closely linked with the commission, he said.

His records were requested during the campaign, and the audit was returned during the election, which was "the most inopportune time," Haley said.

To Haley, being investigated by the commission implies more serious wrongdoing than missing deadlines.

"For me, ethics would be missing money. That's ethical. I don't know if timeliness is a matter of ethics," he said.

Williams said she normally did not send candidates notices about requirements, but did so with Haley to get him to comply.

Commissioners worked with Haley on Thursday to finish leftover paperwork, Williams said.

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