Ethics Commission Complaint Against State Sen. Clark Jolley

Friday, June 1st 2012, 5:45 pm
By: News 9

Jeff Raymond, Oklahoma Impact Team

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Edmond resident has filed an Ethics Commission complaint against state Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, alleging he collected money for his 2012 reelection campaign without filing the proper paperwork.

In the complaint, Robert Donohoo, who lives in Jolley's District 41, alleges that the two-term incumbent started raising money for his 2012 campaign during a Jan. 31 fundraiser yet didn't file the required Statement of Organization form with the state Ethics Commission until April 1. Candidates must file the form within 10 days of raising or spending $500 or more.

"That's a long span. It leaves open opportunities," Donohoo said, explaining that he doesn't know the implications of his complaint but is continuing to research the matter.

Although Donohoo doesn't expect the Ethics Commission to investigate and rule on the complaint before the June 26 primary, he said his motivation is to improve transparency and ensure candidates follow the rules.  

"In the age of open and accountable government, these processes are set up so that all the information is available," he said.

"It's just not as transparent as it should be," he said of Jolley's campaign-finance filings. "There's a reason these various dates and requirements are set up," he said, noting that contributions donors made with one campaign in mind may have gone to another campaign.

Jolley said he stands behind his campaign finance reporting and has not heard concern from the Ethics Commission.

"We've complied with every one of the laws in the state of Oklahoma -- period. We have reported every contributor. We have reported every expense," Jolley said.

Jolley, who considered running for attorney general in 2010, said candidates may only have one campaign open at a time. After abandoning the run for attorney general, he kept the campaign open while considering his options. In April he opened his current reelection campaign and closed the 2010 campaign.

Jolley faces Edmond pastor Paul Blair in the Republican primary. The winner will face Independent Richard Prawdzienski in the general election. Jolley is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and co-chaired the 2011 Senate Redistricting Committee.

Jolley blamed the filing on Blair supporters, noting that Ethics Commission complaints are confidential and can't be discussed publicly.

Oklahoma law provides a $100-per-day penalty for late filings, up to a $1,000 maximum.