Centerville elected officials accused of financial disclosure form violations

Nov 25 2013 - 6:28pm

CENTERVILLLE -- Unsuccessful Centerville city council candidate George McEwan has filed a complaint with the city against Mayor-elect Paul Cutler and Councilwoman-elect Tami Fillmore, alleging the two candidates violated state election law when it came to how and when they filed their financial disclosure reports during their winning campaigns.

Cutler did not report how much money the Salt Lake Board of Realtors gave to his campaign as in-kind donations, placing the letters "TBD" (To Be Determined) and the word "ongoing" in place of the dollar amount on the disclosure form, McEwan claims. Fillmore failed to report major expenses incurred during the campaign reporting period, with the city allowing Fillmore's report to be amended and filed one day late, according to McEwan.

McEwan filed his complaint Nov. 19, following the Centerville City Council's official canvass of the vote.

Cutler said he has not seen the complaint or complaints filed by McEwan.

"I'm confident that I have made every effort to comply with the law with previous (financial disclosure) filings, and I will comply with the law in the final filing for the campaign," Cutler said.

Fillmore said McEwan continues to file complaints about matters that have already been settled and make claims not based in fact, which is unfortunate for the city and its citizens.

This particular issue has already been addressed by the Utah Lieutenant Governor's Office, and it appears that McEwan is merely looking to cause problems.

Fillmore said she stands by the accuracy of her campaign financial reports.

Utah State Election officials confirmed Centerville city officials did receive McEwan's complaint. They are going to be looking into them, State Deputy Director of Elections Justin Lee said.

"We are looking into it, but we have not made a decision one way or the other," Centerville City Recorder Marsha Murrow told the Standard-Examiner on Monday.

She said it is their intent is to resolve the issue prior to the first of the year.

Murrow said she was not surprised by McEwan's complaint because it is a continuation of an earlier complaint McEwan made against the city.

McEwan said he initially filed a lawsuit against the city on Nov. 4, 2013, a day prior to the Nov. 5 municipal election, but voluntarily withdrew the lawsuit after discovering the amount of work and cost involved in prosecuting his case.

There will be those who will claim his complaint is "sour grapes" as a result of him placing last in the Nov. 5 municipal election, McEwan said, but the Centerville resident contends election code was broken.

"This is a principle of law," he said.

His biggest concern is the state lacks a "right of recall" law, McEwan said, so his issue with Cutler and Fillmore has to be resolved prior to the pair taking office in January of 2014.

"Residents in Centerville are concerned the city is dragging their feet to allow the candidates to assume office before a decision is reached," McEwan said in the complaint.

"There has been no indication from the (Centerville) city recorder's office as to when a ruling will be made on the allegations," McEwan said.

Contact reporter Bryon Saxton at 801-625-4244 or bsaxton@standard.net, or follow him on Twitter at @BryonSaxton.

 

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