Registry Issues ‘Show Cause’ Order in Burchett Case

Tennessee’s Registry of Election Finance wants Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett to appear before it next month and explain a series of irregularities in the campaign disclosure forms he filed connected with his successful 2010 election run, reports Mike Donilla.
The registry, in a 4-1 vote this morning, said it would issue the mayor a “show cause” letter that would require him to explain how the errors occurred and to fix them if possible.
The board – if it eventually chooses to further investigate the issue – also will have to decide later whether to dismiss any issues or assess a civil penalty, which can be as much as $10,000 per offense.
Members told Burchett’s Nashville-based lawyer who was at this morning’s meeting that they’d like the mayor to attend the panel’s next meeting, which was set for Oct. 23.
At issue is a formal sworn complaint filed by local freelance writer Pam Strickland asking state and local officials to look into campaign discrepancies in the mayor’s disclosure forms. Strickland, who writes a weekly column for the News Sentinel but is not an employee of the newspaper, filed the complaint Aug. 8 with the Knox County District Attorney General’s Office and the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance.
Stickland’s complaint follows a series of News Sentinel articles that raised questions about Burchett disclosure forms filed in his 2010 mayoral run. In the complaint, which includes copies of the newspaper stories, Strickland reiterates much of the paper’s findings.

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