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Reed's mayoral campaign fined for reporting violations

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 25, 2013 - St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed says he’s already sent in the $300 fine necessary to comply with a ruling by the Missouri Ethics Commission that his unsuccessful mayoral campaign failed to fulfill all the state’s reporting requirements on donors and contractors.

Reed said in an interview that he viewed the matters as “technical violations” because they “failed to reach the level of major ethics violations.” But he emphasized that he had nothing but respect for the Ethics Commission and its staff.

Reed’s campaign was fined $3,000 for failing to file reports with complete information on the donors who gave to his effort earlier this year to oust Mayor Francis Slay, who handily won an unprecedented fourth four-year term.

However, only $300 is due if Reed pays within 45 days. The remainder will be imposed if he is found guilty of another campaign violation within two years.

The commission’s findings dealt with formal complaints that had been filed by Slay’s campaign.

The commission’s harshest conclusion was that Reed’s campaign “knowingly” violated the state law’s requirement that, during the final two weeks of the campaign, all donations of more than $250 must be reported within 24 hours.

Reed’s campaign failed to file such reports for $26,000 in donations received within the last three days of the campaign, the commission said.

State law also requires that all campaign reports list, for all contributors, their name, address, employer and occupation (if self-employed). Some of Reed’s reports failed to include that information, instead stating simply “information requested.”

Reed said he recognized now that campaign staff need to be schooled in the importance of collecting and filing such information. He said he plans to take those lessons to heart in his next contest, a re-election bid in 2015.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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