Alan Wilson's Campaign Chairman Thad Westbrook says $134,000 not reported
Posted in the Columbia Forum
#1 Mar 24, 2013
Alan Wilson's campaign left $134,000 off previous filings.
By SEANNA ADCOX
Posted: Friday, Mar. 22, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. South Carolina's top prosecutor amended his campaign filings Friday to account for $134,000 in donations and expenses previously unreported on disclosures surrounding his 2010 election win.
Attorney General Alan Wilson's campaign chairman Thad Westbrook attributed the 68 donations and 16 payments to human error.
"They were all simple clerical or scrivener's errors, and they have all been corrected," said Thad Westbrook. "The individuals who made those errors are no longer involved with the campaign's disclosures. Today, new systems are in place safeguarding against such mistakes."
The 59 checks and nine online donations that came in after Wilson won the office totaled $66,890, ranging from $5 to the $3,500-per-campaign-cycle limit for statewide candidates. The payments totaled $66,797 - more than 80 percent of them to two vendors for television production and consulting, according to the information provided by the campaign.
The corrected reports were filed online four weeks after the unreported donations were discovered.
The first-term Republican attorney general, Alan Wilson responding to a report in the Free Times, said he would return money that House Speaker Bobby Harrell gave for Alan Wilson's Jan. 11 gala. However, while Harrell's online filings listed his $3,500 sponsorship, Wilson's did not.
Thad Westbrook initially estimated that 10 to 15 donations were mistakenly unreported. That number represented other sponsors for Alan Wilson's inaugural gala that were unaccounted for in his online filings.
But an independent accountant Alan Wilson's campaign hired to review his account found many more mistakes. The campaign asked for the review to cover a nine-month span.
But 80 percent of the unreported donations were deposited in the bank on two days, Jan. 6 and Jan. 14. Five donations totaling $7,600 were deposited in late 2010.
The eight donations of $3,500 include Harrell's.
"When human beings are involved, mistakes are inevitable," Thad Westbrook said.
Alan Wilson also last month returned $3,500 donated in October 2010 from a political action committee affiliated with Harrell. The decision to return $7,000 came days after Alan Wilson forwarded an ethics complaint against Harrell to the State Law Enforcement Division for investigation, largely over questions about Harrell's campaign filings. Harrell has denied wrongdoing.
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/03/22/3...
#2 Mar 24, 2013
Alan Wilson's campaign blames 'clerical errors' for disclosure failures
COLUMBIA — The campaign of State Attorney General Alan Wilson inadvertently left off dozens of contributions and expenses totaling more than $134,000 from campaign disclosure reports because of “clerical errors,” its officials now say.
The errors were discovered as the result of Wilson’s decision last month to return campaign contributions tied to House Speaker Bobby Harrell after Wilson asked the State Law Enforcement Division to look into allegations of ethics violations by Harrell, which Harrell has denied. Wilson discovered then that one of the donations had not been disclosed on campaign reports.
A subsequent audit ordered by Wilson found that 68 donations received after Wilson was elected totaling $66,890 and 16 expenses totaling $66,797 that were left out of disclosures. Most of the donations related to two days of deposits that went unrecorded, according to the campaign. Almost all of the donations were made in December 2010 or January 2011.
Corrected disclosure forms were filed Friday by the campaign.
Many of the discovered donations came from lawyers or their firms.
“They were all simple clerical or scrivener’s errors, and they have all been corrected on the amended disclosures, which are now online,” said Thad Westbrook, Wilson’s campaign chairman.“The individuals who made those errors are no longer involved with the campaign’s disclosures. Today, new systems are in place safeguarding against such mistakes.”
One of Harrell’s donations was as a sponsor of Wilson’s inaugural event. Westbrook at first thought there might be 10 to 15 undisclosed donations.
Wilson ordered a review of the campaign quarters before and after his inaugural in January 2011, Westbrook said. Donations and expenses for a nine-month period were examined, he said.
“When human beings are involved, mistakes are inevitable,” he said.“In campaign disclosures, the important point is to be fully accountable, correct errors as quickly as possible and be completely open and honest with the public. That’s what General Wilson has done.”
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