Weatherford Democrat

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June 13, 2014

King admits failing to report donations

WEATHERFORD —

By CHRISTIN COYNE

State Rep. Phil King failed to report the details of more than $37,000 in donations his campaign received in 2012, he admitted in an amended campaign finance report sent to the Texas Ethics Commission last week. 

Though his critics, including the Wise County Democratic chair, allege King violated the Texas Election Code and attempted to conceal campaign contributions from Tom Craddick in support of Christi Craddick, King called the claims “fantasy” and untrue. 

King said the omissions were an inadvertent book-keeping error resulting from the chaos of a move from a building that housed his law practice for 19 years, as well as his state representative and campaign office. 

The eight unreported donations included a $25,000 donation from Tom Craddick - the largest single donation received by King between 2010 and 2013, according to a review of four years of campaign finance reports filed by King. 

The $37,250 in omitted donations also included $7,500 from the Fort Worth Firefighters Committee and six other donations of $1,000 or less. 

The $25,000 donation on Nov. 30, 2012, from Craddick was the largest single donation King reported receiving from 2010 through 2013, far surpassing the next largest donations of $10,000 during that time period, the Weatherford Democrat found. 

King said his office has not been able to locate copies of several contribution checks received during the week of the move that should have been put in a file and later entered into the bookkeeping software.

Though the itemized information was originally omitted from the January 2013 campaign finance report, the total contributions amount - nearly $92,000 - was included in the original report.  

His office later used the bank’s digital copies and other campaign finance reports to report the missing contributions. 

“I had no reason in the world not to report it,” King said, adding that he knew the donation was going to be reported in other places, such as Craddick’s own campaign finance report, and that, with the system of cross checks for campaign finance reports, there is no way to hide something like that. 

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