Burchett Amends Campaign Disclosures, Blames Wife for ‘Deception’

A week before he was set to explain a series of irregularities in his campaign disclosure forms, reports Mike Donila, Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett filed 11 amendments to the reports and supplied state election officials with an affidavit that blames his ex-wife for the mistakes.
The former Allison Burchett, the mayor alleges, “engaged in a pattern of deception” by transferring thousands of dollars to various accounts for her own “personal benefit” and without his knowledge.
In the 24-page affidavit submitted Oct. 15 to the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, the mayor’s Nashville-based attorney Stephen Zralek says his client was “unaware of any failure from within his campaign to follow campaign finance laws” and that Burchett has “made a complete accounting of all monies based on the records available.”
The mayor also amended sets of finance disclosure forms covering Jan. 1, 2009, through June 30, 2011. Those records were filed with the Knox County Election Commission and include a statement by the mayor.
He says that when the reports were initially filed he “had no knowledge of the inaccuracies contained in those reports nor did I have knowledge of any nonpolitical uses of campaign funds.”
He said he and his new campaign treasurer, Roger Goins, a certified public accountant, have since investigated the matter and that “I strongly suspect that some campaign funds were used for personal use by my ex-wife, Allison Beaver (formerly Burchett).”
The mayor on Friday declined to comment.
“I think the affidavit speaks for itself,” he said.
Allison Beaver did not offer comment when contacted.
The Oct. 15 filings precede the mayor’s Nashville attorney’s meeting Tuesday before the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance to answer questions about Burchett’s campaign reports. Burchett doesn’t plan to attend the meeting.

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