State Rep. John Hutchison before Ethics Commission | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 14, 2013

State Rep. John Hutchison before Ethics Commission

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 4:10 PM

CHALLENGING ETHICS FINDING: Republican Rep. John Hutchison.
  • CHALLENGING ETHICS FINDING: Republican Rep. John Hutchison.
The state Ethics Commission has found probable cause that freshman Republican Rep. John Hutchison of Harrisburg violated campaign finance law in some of the money he drew from campaign funds to pay for personal expenses during the campaign.

We'd reported earlier that lawyer Scott Troutt had filed a complaint over Hutchison's report of use of campaign money for living expenses. Candidates are allowed by law to recoup money up to the amount of personal income lost from time off work. Hutchison said he took off from a $500-a-week job on his brother-in-law's farm to campaign.

The Ethics Commission apparently found that Hutchison ran afoul of the law that law prohibits use of campaign money for personal expenses. The statute defines personal expenses as including "Morgage, Rent and Utility Payments — This includes any payments with respect to a personal residence of the candidate of his or her family..." Hutchison paid rent for use of his mother's house and for her utility bills. Hutchison was given an offer to settle the case, but declined it and asked for a public hearing. It's set for a meeting of the Ethics Commisson tomorrow morning.

This letter lays out the allegation against Hutchison.

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