Ethics complaint filed against Echols

An ethics complaint has been filed against Tim Echols, a candidate for the Public Service Commission containing three allegations, which I’ve listed below. You can read the complaint here along with corresponding evidence.

The complainant, Scott Helyer, alleges that Echols violated state ethics law “by accepting an in-kind contribution beyond the $6,100”.

The July 1, 2010, Atlanta Journal-Constitution article TeenPact kids’ campaign efforts raise questions, outlines how John Oxendine’s gubernatorial campaign paid Mr. Echols’ company, Gold Dome Consulting, for the “services of 150 home-schooled Christian teenagers.” The article also detailed how these children were working for both Mr. Oxendine’s and Mr. Echols’ campaigns, respectively. In fact, Mr. Oxendine reported an expense of $12,500 to Mr. Echols’ company, setting the fair market value for these services. Mr. Echols however, only disclosed a $6,100 in-kind contribution for analogous services.

The second allegation:

Friends for Tim Echols violated the following statute: O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(b)(1)(A) by failing to disclose an additional in-kind contribution from Gold Dome Consulting. As previously stated, Mr. Echols’ June 30, 2010 Campaign Disclosure Report reported a $6,100 in-kind contribution from Gold Dome Consulting for “Literature drop in neighborhoods.” The July 1, 2010, Atlanta Journal-Constitution article TeenPact kids’ campaign efforts raise questions, details how John Oxendine’s gubernatorial campaign paid Mr. Echols’ company, Gold Dome Consulting, for the “services of 150 home-schooled Christian teenagers.” The article also detailed how these children were working for both Mr. Oxendine’s campaign and also Mr. Echols’ campaign for Public Service Commission. Mr. Echols charged $12,500 to Oxendine Working for Georgia, Inc. for the same services his own campaign received from his company, Gold Dome Consulting. Mr. Echols only disclosed a $6,100 in-kind contribution from Gold Dome Consulting for these services. The $12,500 expenditure by Oxendine Working for Georgia set the market value of services rendered by Gold Dome Consulting. By only disclosing the $6,100 in-kind contribution, Friends for Tim Echols failed to disclose an additional $6,400 in-kind contribution.

And the final allegation:

Friends for Tim Echols violated the following statute: O.C.G.A. § 21-5-34(b)(1)(B) by failing to disclose an expense incurred on April 29, 2010 of $3,493.57, constituting candidate qualifying fee made payable to the Georgia Republican Party. The qualifying fee was reported accurately as a contribution by the Georgia Republican Party in their June 30, 2010 Campaign Disclosure, as required by law. Mr. Echols and his campaign committee did not and have not properly disclosed this expense.

Ain’t election season grand.

23 comments

  1. Doug Deal says:

    Well I guess I will be voting for Echols. None of this is really anything dirty, but using the ethics complaint process as a campaign strategy certainly is.

    It’s time for some real ethics laws and real penalties for non compliance for real violations, not ticky tacky garbage. Also, lets force a candidate to put his name on the complaint for it to be filed so they can’t hide behind the skirts of a “concerned citizen” aka political operative.

  2. John Konop says:

    Jason,

    I would think you would support Tim Echols use of free teenage labor for sale since you support the labor laws in China. 🙂

    …..“services of 150 home-schooled Christian teenagers.”…..

  3. Jeff says:

    IIRC, there was also a payment from the Echols campaign to Gold Dome – I believe it comprised the missing $6400. Could be wrong about that, but this was a report I looked at in depth, specifically looking for this, and couldn’t see anything overtly wrong in my own analysis.

  4. ACCmoderate says:

    I’ve bumped into Echol’s legions out on the campaign trail on multiple instances. I’m reminded of this movie everytime.

  5. NonPartisanGA says:

    Anyone who gets excited about the allegations against Tim Echols, claims Karen Handel is playing dirty be just stating the facts or who still actually supports Nathan Deal for governor needs to read this:

    http://oce.house.gov/disclosures/Review_No_09-1022_Referral_to_Standards.pdf

    If they read it already and think it’s OK, they are in serious denial. Take heed Barnes would have a field day with Deal and Ethics……

    Summary of Allegations against Nathan Deal (before he quit Congress to avoid Congressional rubuke and sanctions.)

    1. In 2008 and 2009, Representative Deal sought to preserve a state vehicle inspection program that had generated significant personal financial benefit for him and a business partner. Representative Deal attended meetings on the state inspection program with Georgia officials and told the OCE he attended the meetings, not as a private citizen, but rather as a “public servant” acting in some official capacity. Changes to the vehicle
    inspection program concerned a purely state issue and according to state officials, no other Member of Congress from Georgia involved themselves in it. Thus, the Board concludes that there is a substantial reason to believe that Representative Deal may have violated House Rule 23, clause 3 and Rule 5 of the Code of Government Service.

    2. In addition, Representative Deal was accompanied by his Chief of Staff at meetings on the vehicle inspection program and directed the Chief of Staff to use a House email account to send emails related to the meetings. Thus, there is substantial reason to
    believe Representative Deal violated the House Ethics Manual’s prohibition on using House equipment and resources for personal business purposes.

    3. Representative Deal disclosed $50,001 to $100,000 in unearned “Dividends” income (and unearned “Partnership Income” on an amended form) from GSD on his 2009 Financial
    Disclosure Statement (covering calendar year 2008). However, the same income was described as earned wages on his 2008 personal income tax forms. Specifically, Representative Deal’s 2008 tax documents show $75,000 in GSD wages; in addition, Representative Deal received a W-2 from GSD in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Thus, there is a substantial reason to believe Representative Deal violated the House Ethics Manual’s directive to disclose all earned income.

    4. Further, Representative Deal rendered some degree of service to GSD in 2008 and 2009 and his 2008 taxes show $75,000 in GSD wages. Thus, there is substantial reason to believe Representative Deal violated the earned income limitation, House Rule 25,
    Clause 1.

    5. Representative Deal is the GSD corporate secretary. His 2008 taxes show $75,000 in GSD wages. Thus, there is substantial reason to believe Representative Deal violated the prohibition on receiving compensation as a corporate officer, House Rule 25, Clause 2.

    6. Representative Deal also failed to disclose his status as the GSD corporate secretary on his financial disclosure forms. Thus, there is substantial reason to believe Representative Deal violated the House Ethics Manual’s directive to disclose all nongovernmental
    positions held.

  6. Jane says:

    Both are good people equally right wing for me, but I am voting for the least political of the two very political animals, Tim Echols.

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