This just in from the Missouri Democratic Party:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GOP Lawmaker Pays Personal Tax Debts with Campaign Funds
Rep. Cynthia Davis' Illegal Activity Reported to Ethics Commission, Possible Income Tax Evasion Reported to Department of Revenue
Jefferson City, MO --- The Missouri Democratic Party today filed an ethics complaint against Republican State Representative Cynthia Davis of O'Fallon for using campaign money to pay her own property taxes on a Jefferson City residence. The complaint argues that on multiple occasions Rep. Davis has illegally converted campaign funds to personal use, including paying her real estate taxes, purchasing an automobile, and making deposits into a personal bank account.
On Jan. 8, 2004, Cynthia Davis for the House Committee paid the Cole County Collector $1,084.33 for real estate taxes on a residential property in Jefferson City, according to the committee's April 2004 Quarterly Report filed April 15, 2004. Ms. Davis' 2003 and 2004 Personal Finance Disclosure Statements lists that residence as being owned by Ms. Davis and her husband Bernie.
Missouri Campaign Finance Law (Section 130.034 RSMo.) strictly prohibits converting any campaign contribution to personal use. The law is designed to prevent the theft and illegal use of campaign funds. Purposeful violations of this provision are punishable by up to one year in jail.
In addition to paying her property taxes with campaign contributions, the ethics complaint also details other instances when Rep. Davis converted campaign money to personal use, including:
On July 7, 2002, Cynthia Davis for the House Committee purchased an S-10 truck from a Bryan Luckey of Hannibal, Missouri for $2,850.00. There are no other expenditures (except for licensing and sales tax expenditures) related to the purchase, operation or use of vehicle, until a single entry for "motor fuel/travel" on December 1, 2004. During that intervening two and Â½ year period, there were no expenditures for basic motor vehicle expenses, including gas, oil, repairs, personal property tax payments or state mandated insurance. This inexplicable lack of other auto expenses strongly suggests that this vehicle has been converted to personal use by Ms. Davis or others in violation of Missouri criminal law.
On January 23, 2003, Cynthia Davis for the House Committee paid the Missouri State Credit Union $250. In violation of the law, no purpose for this expenditure was provided. Furthermore, Missouri State Credit Union is not the official depository of the Committee. These facts, coupled with the above pattern of activity, strongly suggests that no legitimate committee purpose for this expenditure exists and that these monies were converted to the personal use of Cynthia Davis or some third person. Under these circumstances, a criminal conversion of campaign funds has occurred.
Because the criminal conversion of these campaign funds would constitute income to Ms. Davis, the Missouri Democratic Party has forwarded this complaint to the Missouri Department of Revenue's Criminal Violations Bureau, which investigates income tax evasion. The bureau is asked to investigate whether real estate and personal property taxes paid by the committee were illegally deducted on Ms. Davis' personal income tax return.