Texas Ethics Commission

P.O. Box 12070

Austin, Texas

78711-2070

(512) 463-5800

1-800-325-8506

SWORN COMPLAINT BEFORE THE TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION
An individual must be a resident of the state of Texas to be eligible to file a sworn complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission. The complainant is required to attach to the complaint a copy of one of the following documents: • complainant's driver's license or personal identification certificate issued under Chapter 521 of the Transportation Code, or commercial driver's license issued under Chapter 522 of the Transportation Code; or • a utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows the name and address of the complainant and is dated not more than 30 days before the date on which the complaint is filed. Effective September 1, 2009, an individual may also be eligible to file a sworn complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission if the individual owns real property in the state of Texas. Under this provision, the complainant will be required to attach to the complaint a copy of a property tax bill, notice of appraised value, or other government document that shows the name of the complainant, shows the address of the real property in Texas, and identifies the complainant as the owner of the real property.
OFFICE USE ONLY
Docket Number

Date Hand-delivered or Date Postmarked

I. IDENTITY OF COMPLAINANT
1 COMPLAINANT NAME
MS / MRS / MR FIRST MI

Mr.
NICKNAME

Robert
LAST

A.
SUFFIX

Gwinn
2 COMPLAINANT PHYSICAL ADDRESS 3 COMPLAINANT MAILING ADDRESS
(check if same as above)

Jr.
CITY; STATE; ZIP CODE

ADDRESS

APT / SUITE #;

319 Kahala Drive
ADDRESS APT / SUITE #;

Dallas
CITY;

TX
STATE;

75218
ZIP CODE

(Full home or business address, including street, city, state, and zip code)

319 Kahala Drive
AREA CODE PHONE NUMBER EXT

Dallas
5 COMPLAINANT E-MAIL ADDRESS

TX

75218

(Full home or business address, including street, city, state, and zip code)

4 COMPLAINANT TELEPHONE NUMBER

(214) 342-7200

allen@dallas.org

II. IDENTITY OF RESPONDENT
6 RESPONDENT NAME
MS / MRS / MR FIRST MI

Mr.
NICKNAME

Bruce
LAST SUFFIX

Parrott
7 RESPONDENT POSITION OR TITLE RESPONDENT PHYSICAL ADDRESS

Candidate for Dallas Independent School Board, District 3
ADDRESS APT / SUITE #; CITY; STATE; ZIP CODE

8

11208 Yorkmont Circle

Dallas

TX

75218

(Full home or business address, including street, city, state, and zip code)

9

RESPONDENT MAILING ADDRESS
(check if same as above)

ADDRESS

APT / SUITE #;

CITY;

STATE;

ZIP CODE

11208 Yorkmont Circle

Dallas

TX

75218

(Full home or business address, including street, city, state, and zip code) AREA CODE PHONE NUMBER EXT

10 RESPONDENT TELEPHONE NUMBER

(214) 328-6809

11 RESPONDENT E-MAIL ADDRESS
(IF KNOWN)

bruce@bruceparrott.com

GO TO PAGE 2
Revised 06/10/2009

Texas Ethics Commission

P.O. Box 12070

Austin, Texas

78711-2070

(512) 463-5800

1-800-325-8506

III. NATURE OF ALLEGED VIOLATION

Page 2

Include the specific law(s) or rule(s) alleged to have been violated. The Texas Ethics Commission has jurisdiction to enforce only the following laws: (1) Title 15 of the Election Code; (2) Chapters 302, 303, 305, 572, 2004 of the Gov't Code; (3) § 334.025 and § 335.055 of the Local Gov't Code; (4) Subchapter C, Chapter 159 of the Local Gov't Code, in connection with a county judicial officer who elects to file a financial statement with the commission; (5) § 2152.064 and § 2155.003 of the Gov't Code; (6) § 306.005 of the Gov't Code.

Respondent failed to file an 8-day Candidate / Officeholder Campaign Finance Report, in a timely manner, as required by Title 15 § 254.064(c) of the Texas Election Code. Respondent also failed to report the purpose of expenditures on his 8-day Candidate / Officeholder Campaign Finance Report as required by Title 15 § 254.031(a)(3) of the Texas Election Code.

ATTACH ADDITIONAL PAGES AS NEEDED
Revised 06/10/2009

Texas Ethics Commission

P.O. Box 12070

Austin, Texas

78711-2070

(512) 463-5800

1-800-325-8506

IV. STATEMENT OF FACTS

Page 3

State the facts constituting the alleged violation(s), including the dates on which or the period of time in which the alleged violation(s) occurred. Identify allegations of fact not personally known to the complainant, but alleged on information and belief. Please use simple, concise, and direct statements.

Respondent was an opposed candidate in an October 3, 2009, election for the office of Trustee in the Dallas Independent School District. Texas Election Code, Title 15, § 254.064(c) ("Additional Reports of Opposed Candidate") requires an opposed candidate to file a Candidate / Officeholder Campaign Finance Report ("C/OH Report") which "must be received by the authority with whom the report is required to be filed not later than the eighth day before election day." Therefore, Respondent's report was due no later than October 26, 2009. According to the date stamp, Respondent's 8-day C/OH Report was received by the filing authority at 9:30 AM on October 30, 2009--4 days later ("Exhibit A"). Section 254.042 (b) ("Civil Penalty for Late Report") imposes a "civil penalty of $500 for the first day the report is late and $100 for each day thereafter that the report is late" for failing to file a report as required by §254.064(c). The Texas Ethics Commission recently considered a substantially similar matter ("Exhibit B" SC-290233) involving an 8-day C/OH Report filed late during a runoff election in violation of §254.064(e). The Commission noted, in its findings, that "[to] be considered timely filed, the report must have been received by the filing authority, and not postmarked, by the due date." Section 254.031 ("General Contents of Reports") reads in part (with emphasis added): (a) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, each report filed under this chapter must include: (3) the amount of political expenditures that in the aggregate exceed $50 and that are made during the reporting period, the full name and address of the persons to whom the expenditures are made, and the dates and purposes of the expenditures; Respondent's 8-day C/OH Report, ("Exhibit A") Schedule F fails to disclose the purpose of each expenditure. Section 254.041 ("Criminal Penalty for Untimely or Incomplete Report") reads in part: (a) A person who is required by this chapter to file a report commits an offense if the person knowingly fails: (1) to file the report on time; (3) to include in the report information that is required by this title to be included. (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

ATTACH ADDITIONAL PAGES AS NEEDED

Revised 06/10/2009

Texas Ethics Commission

P.O. Box 12070

Austin, Texas

78711-2070

(512) 463-5800

1-800-325-8506

V. LISTING OF DOCUMENTS AND OTHER MATERIALS

Page 4

List all documents and other materials filed with this complaint. Additionally, list all other documents and other materials that are relevant to this complaint and that are within your knowledge, including their location, if known.

"Exhibit A" - Respondent's Candidate / Office holder Campaign Finance Report (Form C/OH) due on October 26, 2009 and received by the filing authority on October 30, 2009. "Exhibit B" - Sworn Complaint SC-290233 "Order and Agreed Resolution." "Exhibit C" - Select sections of Texas Election Code, Title 15 (with emphasis added).

ATTACH ADDITIONAL PAGES AS NEEDED

Revised 06/10/2009

"Exhibit A"

"Exhibit B"

TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION
IN THE MATTER OF JOHN R. AMES, RESPONDENT § § § § § BEFORE THE TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION SC-290233

ORDER and AGREED RESOLUTION
I. Recitals The Texas Ethics Commission (the commission) met on April 16, 2009, to consider sworn complaint SC-290233. A quorum of the commission was present. The commission determined that there is credible evidence of a violation of section 254.064 of the Election Code, a law administered and enforced by the commission. To resolve and settle this complaint without further proceedings, the commission proposes this resolution to the respondent. II. Allegation The complaint alleged that the respondent failed to timely file an 8-day pre-election report for a runoff election. III. Facts Supported by Credible Evidence Credible evidence available to the commission supports the following findings of fact: 1. The respondent was a successful candidate for tax assessor of Dallas County in the Democratic primary runoff election held on April 8, 2008, and in the November 2008 general election. The complaint alleged that the respondent failed to timely file an 8-day pre-election report for the runoff election. The complaint included a copy of the respondent’s runoff election report and the envelope used to mail the report. The 8-day pre-election report for the April 2008 primary runoff election was due on March 31, 2008. The respondent’s runoff report shows that it was received and date stamped by the Dallas County Elections Department on April 10, 2008.

2. 3. 4.

ORDER AND AGREED RESOLUTION

PAGE 1 OF 3

TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION 5.

SC-290233

The copy of the envelope bears a postmark date of March 31, 2008. The envelope was addressed to Dallas County, but not specifically to the Elections Department, and the address did not include a suite or room number. A handwritten notation on the envelope indicates that it was received in a Dallas County office on April 2, 2008. A date stamp on the envelope indicates that it was received in the Dallas County Elections Department on April 10, 2008. The report disclosed the following totals: $45,507.08 in total political contributions $21,332.67 in total political expenditures $665.21 in total political contributions maintained $30,000 in total principal amount of all outstanding loans

6.

7.

In response to the sworn complaint, the respondent submitted an affidavit in which he swears that he did not intend to file his runoff election report late. He states that the reporting period was from February 24, 2008, through March 29, 2008, and that since the 29th fell on a Saturday, he was unable to get the report notarized and mailed until Monday, March 31, 2008. IV. Findings and Conclusions of Law

The facts described in Section III support the following findings and conclusions of law: 1. An opposed candidate in a runoff election shall file one report for that election. The runoff election report must be received by the authority [Emphasis added] with whom the report is required to be filed not later than the eighth day before runoff election day. The report covers the period beginning the ninth day before the date of the main election and continuing through the 10th day before runoff election day. ELEC. CODE § 254.064(e). The evidence indicates that the respondent mailed his runoff election report on the due date, which was March 31, 2008. The evidence also shows that the report was received by the filing authority after the due date and after the runoff election. To be considered timely filed, the report must have been received by the filing authority, and not postmarked, by the due date. Therefore, there is credible evidence that the respondent violated section 254.064(e) of the Election Code. V. Representations and Agreement by Respondent By signing this order and agreed resolution and returning it to the commission: 1. 1. The respondent neither admits nor denies the facts described under Section III or the commission’s findings and conclusions of law described under Section IV, and consents to

2.

ORDER AND AGREED RESOLUTION

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TEXAS ETHICS COMMISSION

SC-290233

the entry of this order and agreed resolution solely for the purpose of resolving this sworn complaint. 2. 3. The respondent consents to this order and agreed resolution and waives any right to further proceedings in this matter. The respondent acknowledges that opposed candidate in a runoff election shall file one report for that election. The runoff election report must be received by the authority with whom the report is required to be filed not later than the eighth day before runoff election day. The respondent agrees to comply with this requirement of the law. VI. Confidentiality This order and agreed resolution describes a violation that the commission has determined is neither technical nor de minimis. Accordingly, this order and agreed resolution is not confidential under section 571.140 of the Government Code and may be disclosed by members and staff of the commission. VII. Sanction After considering the seriousness of the violation described under Sections III and IV, including the nature, circumstances, and consequences of the violation, and after considering the sanction necessary to deter future violations, the commission imposes a $1,000 civil penalty. VIII. Order The commission hereby orders that if the respondent consents to the proposed resolution, this order and agreed resolution is a final and complete resolution of SC-290233. AGREED to by the respondent on this _______ day of _____________, 20___. ______________________________ John R. Ames, Respondent EXECUTED ORIGINAL received by the commission on: _________________________. Texas Ethics Commission By: ______________________________ David A. Reisman, Executive Director

ORDER AND AGREED RESOLUTION

PAGE 3 OF 3

"Exhibit C"

§ 254.031. General Contents of Reports (a) Except as otherwise provided by this chapter, each report filed under this chapter must include: (1) the amount of political contributions from each person that in the aggregate exceed $50 and that are accepted during the reporting period by the person or committee required to file a report under this chapter, the full name and address of the person making the contributions, and the dates of the contributions; (2) the amount of loans that are made during the reporting period for campaign or officeholder purposes to the person or committee required to file the report and that in the aggregate exceed $50, the dates the loans are made, the interest rate, the maturity date, the type of collateral for the loans, if any, the full name and address of the person or financial institution making the loans, the full name and address, principal occupation, and name of the employer of each guarantor of the loans, the amount of the loans guaranteed by each guarantor, (3) the amount of political expenditures that in the aggregate exceed $50 and that are made during the and the aggregate principal amount of all outstanding loans as of the last day of the reporting period; reporting period, the full name and address of the persons to whom the expenditures are made, and the (4) the amount of each payment made during the reporting period from a political contribution if the payment dates and purposes of the expenditures; is not a political expenditure, the full name and address of the person to whom the payment is made, and the (5) the total amount or a specific listing of the political contributions of $50 or less accepted and the total date and purpose of the payment; (6) the total amount of all political contributions accepted and the total amount of all political expenditures amount or a specific listing of the political expenditures of $50 or less made during the reporting period; (7) the name of each candidate or officeholder who benefits from a direct campaign expenditure made during made during the reporting period; the reporting period by the person or committee required to file the report, and the office sought or held, excluding a direct campaign expenditure that is made by the principal political committee of a political party (8) as of the last day of a reporting period for which the person is required to file a report, the total amount of on behalf of a slate of two or more nominees of that party; and political contributions accepted, including interest or other income on those contributions, maintained in one (a-1) A de minimis error in calculating or reporting a cash balance under Subsection (a)(8) is not a violation of or more accounts in which political contributions are deposited as of the last day of the reporting period. (b) If no reportable activity occurs during a reporting period, the person required to file a report shall indicate this section. that fact in the report.

§ 254.041. Criminal Penalty for Untimely or Incomplete Report (a) A person who is required by this chapter to file a report commits an offense if the person knowingly fails: (1) to file the report on time; (2) to file a report by computer diskette, modem, or other means of electronic transfer, if the person is required to file reports that comply with Section 254.036(b); or (3) to include in the report information that is required by this title to be included. (b) Except as provided by Subsection (c), an offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor. (c) A violation of Subsection (a)(3) by a candidate or officeholder is a Class A misdemeanor if the report fails to include information required by Section 254.061(3) or Section 254.091(2), as applicable.

§ 254.042. Civil Penalty for Late Report (a) The commission shall determine from any available evidence whether a report required to be filed with the commission under this chapter is late. On making that determination, the commission shall immediately mail a notice of the determination to the person required to file the report. (b) If a report other than a report under Section 254.064(c), 254.124(c), or 254.154(c) or the first report under Section 254.063 or 254.123 that is required to be filed following the primary or general election is determined to be late, the person required to file the report is liable to the state for a civil penalty of $500. If a report under Section 254.064(c), 254.124(c), or 254.154(c) or the first report under Section 254.063 or 254.153 that is required to be filed following the primary or general election is determined to be late, the person required to file the report is liable to the state for a civil penalty of $500 for the first day the report is late and $100 for each day thereafter that the report is late. If a report is more than 30 days late, the commission shall issue a warning of liability by registered mail to the person required to file the report. If the penalty is not paid before the 10th day after the date on which the warning is received, the person is liable for a civil penalty in an amount determined by commission rule, but not to exceed $10,000. (c) A penalty paid voluntarily under this section shall be deposited in the State Treasury to the credit of the General Revenue Fund.

§ 254.064. Additional Reports of Opposed Candidate (a) In addition to other required reports, for each election in which a person is a candidate and has an opponent whose name is to appear on the ballot, the person shall file two reports. (b) The first report must be received by the authority with whom the report is required to be filed not later than the 30th day before election day. ! The report covers the period beginning the day the candidate’s campaign treasurer appointment is filed or the first day after the period covered by the last report required to be filed under this chapter, as applicable, and continuing through the 40th day before election day. (c) The second report must be received by the authority with whom the report is required to be filed not later than the eighth day before election day.! The report covers the period beginning the 39th day before election day and continuing through the 10th day before election day. (d) If a person becomes an opposed candidate after a reporting period prescribed by Subsection (b) or (c), the person’s first report must be received by the authority with whom the report is required to be filed not later than the regular deadline for the report covering the period during which the person becomes an opposed candidate. ! The period covered by the first report begins the day the candidate’s campaign treasurer appointment is filed. (e) In addition to other required reports, an opposed candidate in a runoff election shall file one report for that election.! The runoff election report must be received by the authority with whom the report is required to be filed not later than the eighth day before runoff election day.! The report covers the period beginning the ninth day before the date of the main election and continuing through the 10th day before runoff election day.

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