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Ethics complains dismissed against Nixon

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Attorney General Jay Nixon (KWMU file photo)

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Ethics Commission has dropped a complaint against Attorney General Jay Nixon.

Republicans had accused Nixon's campaign of accepting more than $19,000 from Ameren Corporation while investigating the company.

The commission said the allegations against Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon were unfounded, according to letters released Wednesday that were sent to Republicans and fundraising groups.

The state Republican committee filed the complaint in June, claiming someone orchestrated a series of donations that shuttled money from Ameren Corp. to Nixon's campaign for governor in the months after Nixon launched an investigation into the Dec. 14 collapse of the Taum Sauk reservoir.

The collapse unleashed more than a billion gallons of water about 120 miles southwest of St. Louis, devastating a nearby state park and injuring a family of five. Ameren operated the reservoir.

Ameren's donations went to separate St. Louis-area fundraising groups, which then gave almost all the money to Nixon's campaign on March 31. Nixon returned the donations after they were reported by The Associated Press.

Nixon is in discussions with Ameren about a legal settlement for damages from the flood. Ameren is voluntarily cleaning the park and has reached a confidential settlement with the injured family.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said the decision was "neither surprising nor unexpected." Republican spokesman Paul Sloca said the party stands by its allegations.

An Ameren spokeswoman declined to comment Wednesday. The company has said it did not tell any of the fundraising groups to send the donations to a specific candidate or fund.

Nixon is raising money to challenge Republican Gov. Matt Blunt in 2008.

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