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More than 50 candidates miss deadline to file reports

By Phil Kabler, Staff writer

A total of 52 candidates for state and county offices missed the initial deadline to submit financial disclosure statements to the state Ethics Commission, according to documents provided by the commission to the secretary of state’s office.

Under the law, candidates are to file the disclosures — which include employment, sources of income over $1,000, investments of $10,000 or more, and commercial real estate holdings, for themselves and their spouses — within 10 days of filing for public office.

All candidates and public officials have a Feb. 1 deadline to file disclosures.

Candidates who fail to comply can have their names removed from the ballot, and if elected, are not permitted to take the oath of office until the disclosure is filed. The law also provides for misdemeanor criminal charges for candidates who fail to comply with the disclosure requirements.

This week, the state Democratic Executive Committee cited the law in its petition to Kanawha Circuit Court to remove Delegate Suzette Raines, R-Kanawha, from the November general election ballot.

Raines has failed to file the financial disclosure with the Ethics Commission, and also has failed to file campaign finance reports with the secretary of state’s office for the May primary election. Those reports were due in April, June, and July.

Rebecca Stepto, interim executive director of the Ethics Commission, said the commission submitted a list of 52 candidates who had not filed disclosures by the Feb. 1 deadline to county clerks and to the secretary of state’s office.

That list included incumbent Delegates Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan; Cindy Frich, R-Monongalia, Nancy Guthrie, D-Kanawha; Mike Mannypenny, D-Taylor; J.B. McCuskey, R-Kanawha; and Raines.

In addition to submitting the lists, Stepto said candidates who failed to file were sent reminder letters in April.

Additionally, she said, “We also had a press release sent out through the Department of Administration ... reminding candidates they need to file.”

As of Wednesday, just seven candidates, all running for House of Delegates, are delinquent in filing their Ethics disclosures, including some candidates who lost in the primary election, Stepto said.

They are: Michael Baisden, a Mingo County Democrat; Joyce Holland, Republican, Cabell County; Bill Marcum, Republican, Logan County; Daniel Mark Dean, Republican, Mingo County; Gloria Jean Meadows, Republican, Logan County, as well as incumbents Cowles and Raines.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.


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