3 candidates file overdue disclosures

Three of six candidates on the 2014 general election ballot who had failed to file financial disclosures with the state Ethics Commission have done so this week, including Delegate Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan.

Meanwhile, an attorney for Delegate Suzette Raines, R-Kanawha, contends that Raines had attempted to file the required disclosure in January and again in May, according to Rebecca Stepto, interim executive director of the commission.

Stepto said attorney Marc Williams of Huntington contacted the commission Tuesday.

“He indicated that Ms. Raines said she filed a financial disclosure in January, but it was sent back because it was not signed,” Stepto said.

According to Williams, Raines refiled the disclosure in May -- four months past its due date -- but Stepto said commission staff could not find the document or any record of it having been filed with the office.

Last week, the state Democratic Executive Committee filed a petition in Kanawha Circuit Court to remove Raines as a candidate for the House of Delegates on the grounds that she has failed to file the Ethics financial disclosure, as well as three campaign finance reports with secretary of state’s office for the primary election reporting period, as required by law.

The complaint also asserts that Raines no longer lives at the address listed on her certificate of candidacy, 850 Jonash Lane in St. Albans.

Stepto said Williams e-mailed a copy of Raines’ financial disclosure, which lists her residence as 8 Roller Road in Charleston, an address that keeps her in the 35th Delegate District.

Stepto said Tuesday she was researching the law, but does not believe an e-mail copy of the disclosure form is acceptable, because it lacks an original signature.

Williams could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, Jake Glance with the secretary of state’s office confirmed that candidates have been given a Friday deadline to file overdue campaign finance reports from the primary election, which were due in April, May and June.

“We told them Friday is the deadline to avoid being on the list of non-filers we are going to be sending to county prosecutors,” he said.

Failure to file campaign finance reports is a misdemeanor punishable by fines and up to one year in jail.

Non-filers also will not be on the list of candidates certified to appear on General Election ballots this fall.

In addition to Raines, candidates who have still not filed financial disclosures with the Ethics Commission are Daniel Mark Dean II, a Republican running in the House 21st District in Mingo County, and Gloria Meadows, a Republican running in the 24th House District in Logan County.

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

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