Four local candidates could face fines from the ethics commission after missing Monday’s deadline to turn in campaign contribution reports.
Lee Slater, executive director of the Oklahoma Ethics Commission, said District Attorney candidates Ed Frock and Kim Tressler had not turned in digital campaign reports as of Wednesday morning. District Court Judge candidates Brett Morton and Bob Pinkerton fell into the same category.
By Wednesday afternoon, both Frock and Morton had turned in their reports in the digital form. Wendy Holland, Frock’s paralegal, said there had been some complications in attempting to file the report Tuesday.
“The Ethics Commission gave us the wrong ethic number — it belonged to someone else,” she said. “When we went on yesterday, it would not log on, so we had to fax it.”
The Ethics Commission demands a digital form, and the fax was not accepted. Sanders said another attempt Wednesday was successful, despite initially receiving another wrong ethic number.
“Last week in a space of 24 hours, I was told by my sister that she had Stage IV lung cancer, and I was told by my father he was in Stage IV bone cancer,” Frock said. “In the midst of trying to gather their final wishes and execute their final desires, I did not keep track of the ethics committee deadline.
“My sister, having passed away Monday of a stroke, prevented me from filing the correct items on the Monday deadline. After returning from Lawton Monday, I faxed the commission my report on Tuesday, having been forced to fax the report due to the fact the ethics commission gave me the wrong information to file online.”
Morton filed his report late Wednesday afternoon and attributed the late report to an oversight.
“It was simply an oversight and all reports have been properly reported to the ethics commission,” he said. “My campaign is in full compliance.”
Morton added he has funded most of his campaign.
Slater said it is possible those filing late can be exposed to late-filing fees.
“Ultimately, any fines or sanctions will be at the discretion of the court system,” he said.
Pinkerton said he was under the impression there was no deadline if a candidate has neither spent $500 nor received $500.
“I didn’t really intend to take contributions,” he said. “I had one supporter that does not live in the county that said ‘I may not be able to vote for you, but I can contribute something’.”
Slater said Pinkerton still needed to file a report that said he did not intend to file a campaign contribution report.
“It’s a requirement,” he said.
Tressler said she had faxed a report on Monday. “If you are behind, they will send out an email, and I have not received an email,” she said. She also added she is in the beginning stages of her campaign.
Slater said there is a rule in place that the candidate must file in a digital form, and the ethics commission had not received her report.