Fri March 15, 2013
Charges Dismissed in Mayor Greg Fischer Election Finance Case
In the closing decision of the case against Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance has dismissed the last of the civil charges filed regarding Fischer's use of campaign funds.
The registry initially found that former Fischer Inaugural Committee Co-Chair Marty Cogan indirectly violated state campaign finance law by soliciting money to fund Fischer's inaugural party under a title for which he was not formally registered.
Despite the finding, KREF officials have dismissed
the charge, following the recommendation of general counsel.
Fischer and his associates were accused of using funds raised expressly for Fischer's inaugural party to pay down outstanding debts incurred during his mayoral campaign.
Under Kentucky campaign laws, funds raised for the purpose of inauguration cannot be used to pay off campaign debt.
"The charges had been brought and they really were without foundation," said Cogan's attorney, Donald Cox. "And if a full investigation had been done initially, the charges never would have been brought. But that's the nature of what goes on in these proceedings. And so we're just happy that we've been completely vindicated."
The case was based on a complaint filed by former Metro Council candidate Curtis Morrison, who was later joined by Louisville businessman Ed Hart.
Morrison says that the KREF did not notify him of the upcoming decision.
"So here we are: a year and four months after I filed this complaint. The person I filed this complaint for, the mayor, he's exonerated like early on. And now they're just now saying that the whistle-blower who came forth with extra evidence that he's innocent? Well, duh, he's innocent," he says. "And they don't give me notice that they've decided this? Kind of looks like they're trying to cover it up."
Fischer was cleared of all charges on the recommendation of Dennis.
Fischer Inaugural Committee Co-Chair, Tommy Elliot, was the only respondent in the case to be penalized. He received a $500 fine.