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|Johnson campaign reports missing|
Officials with the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program say Winnsboro Mayor Jackie Johnson failed to file campaign finance reports for his 2010 mayoral campaign, a claim Johnson disputes.
Johnson on Monday said his campaign finance reports for the 2010 mayor's race had been filed.
The Franklin Sun researched the Ethics Administration Program's web site and found no filings by Johnson.
An official with the Ethics Administration Program said there was no record of Johnson having filed a campaign finance report as far back as 1993.
According to the Ethics Administration Program, Johnson's reports are more than nine months overdue.
Campaign finance reports can be viewed online at the Louisiana Ethics Administration Program's Web site, www.ethics.state.la.us.
The Franklin Sun also requested a copy of his campaign finance reports for the 2010 mayor's race. Despite numerous requests for them, Johnson nor anyone with his administration provided them to The Franklin Sun as of Monday afternoon.
By law, candidates for public office in a district or municipality comprised of a population of 35,000 or less must report campaign contributions in excess of $200 from a single source, other than from the candidate's personal funds.
Candidates also must report all expenditures if a candidate's campaign spends more than $5,000 in an election cycle.
Failure to file or timely file a required campaign finance report can carry a penalty of $40 per-day, starting from the final filing deadline.
Johnson does not face any penalties at this time for failing to file campaign finance reports because no complaints have been filed against him, said Cheryl Vermaelen, an investigator with the Ethics Administration Program.
"The only way we are able to ask for anything is for a complaint to first be filed," she said. "Once that happens, the (ethics) board has the option to look into it."
As of late last week, Ken Hill and Deacue Fields were the only candidates to have filed campaign financing reports for the 2010 mayoral race in Winnsboro.
Hill, who garnered 767 of the 1,764 ballots cast in the run-off election against Johnson, received around $10,000 in campaign donations for his mayoral campaign.
He spent about the same amount. Fields, who received 22 percent of the vote during the primary election, received at least $1,600 in donations. He spent at least $2,683 in the race, according to his reports.
Leroy Scott, who finished last in the mayoral primary election, did not disclose a campaign finance report until Friday. His records had not been posted online by the Ethics Administration Program as of early this week because they were still under review, officials said.
Scott said he depended on Ron Lewis to file Scott's campaign finance reports on time. Lewis worked with Scott's mayoral campaign last year and now serves as an administrative assistant to Johnson.
"I had thought he did it, but he never did," Scott said. "I knew he had been going through some things, so I never checked up on it."
Lewis did not return multiple telephone calls seeking comment on Scott's claim.