published Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Councilman corrects financial statements


by Cliff Hightower

Councilman Andraé McGary said Wednesday he would correct his financial disclosure statements after more than $4,400 in contributions were found with no names attached to them.

“It was a simple mistake,” McGary said Wednesday morning.

A Chattanooga Times Free Press review of his financial disclosure statements showed four donations to his campaign last year for a total of $4,452.48. But the names of contributors were missing.

State law requires candidates to list names and addresses of those who contribute to their campaigns.

McGary said Wednesday his campaign treasurer mistakenly listed several different contributions as single deposits.

In one instance, he said, there was a $3,000 contribution listed on the disclosure form, although local candidates are allowed to receive donations only up to $1,000. The $3,000 was actually several contributions put into one deposit, he said.

FOUR TRANSACTIONS

Four contributions with no names appear on City Councilman Andraé McGary’s end-of-the-year financial disclosure records. The contributions and their dates are:

* April, 16, 2009: $252

* April 17, 2009: $3,000

* April 24, 2009: $400.48

* Nov. 5, 2009: $800

Source: Hamilton County Election Commission

A corrected copy of his financial disclosure form will be given to the Hamilton County Election Commission by Friday with complete information about the contributions, he said.

McGary did not say Wednesday who made the contributions.

Election Administrator Charlotte Mullis-Morgan said Tuesday she “hadn’t ever noticed” that McGary’s financial disclosure forms did not have complete information.

“What they’ll have to do is go back and redo it, and redo it correctly,” she said.

She said there is no fine for turning in inaccurate or incomplete forms.

Drew Rawlins, director of the Bureau of Tennessee’s Registry of Election Finance, said there are no automatic steps in place for corrections or punishment of those who violate the financial disclosure laws.

“It’s up to each county,” he said.

He said the only thing candidates are told about a financial disclosure form is to “fill it out correctly,” he said. If that does not happen, other corrective measures can take place, but he did not specify what steps could be taken.

McGary was elected April 2009 to the City Council.

Contact Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CliffHightower.

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slr3 said...

Another example of a public employee (Charlotte-Mullis Morgan) being asleep at the switch. Is it not her job to review these forms when they are filed?? If not , why have the forms filed at all? Her statement that she "hadn't even noticed" the error is unacceptable. What will it take to make her notice these items and do her job?? I agree with McGary on this one. Besides , her was one of the four on the council who voted against the Mayor's 19% increase in our property tax. The others were MURPHY,SCOTT,and GILBERT. You can thank LADD,ROBINSON,BERZ,RICO and BENSON for the 19% increase in our taxes since the voted for the Mayor's budget and failed to represent us property owners.

September 30, 2010 at 4:38 a.m.
Allison12 said...

Missing names for campaign contributions, I can help. Crutchfield, Crutchfield cronies...

September 30, 2010 at 8:13 a.m.
ordinaryguy said...

Several things come to mind. First, what is McGary's story? How does he suddenly appear in town, and is elected to office. What was his job prior to his election? What brought him to Chattanooga. It seems to be time for the TFP to do a complete background check on this man, who used his city position to secure his current occupation. Why has his past not been looked into? He is not from Chattanooga, and seems to be positioning himself for a mayoral run, and we the taxpayers need to know his background.

September 30, 2010 at 10:28 a.m.
Livn4life said...

McGary says it was a simple mistake. I guess we could call it an oversight. Just who, when filling it out correctly, did not take time to see that all information was given properly? It's easy to jump on Charlotte-Mullis Morgan but the fact remains, McGary's campaign did not give full disclosure and that was discovered. My point is, in the day we live with so much desired transparency, it is vitally important to check all t-s and i-s, lest when information becomes divulged one discovers dotted t-s and crossed i-s. It looks like McGary will not even receive a handslap on this and that may be okay unless there is a problem with anyone who made those contributions. I hope in the future more care will be taken lest people say, "there's another crooked politician hiding something." We have too much of that really going on already for actions to occur which call for more questions.

September 30, 2010 at 10:31 a.m.

I'm sure the Councilman is very aware of who contributed $3,000.00 to his campaign.

September 30, 2010 at 10:52 a.m.
Allison12 said...

Alot of expenses for NO campaign occuring? What am I missing her.

October 2, 2010 at 10:06 a.m.

More smoke and mirrors. Robert T, the most vocal critic of this City's current administration and council, is magically replaced on WGOW live and local by McGary.

http://www.wdef.com/news/councilman_mcgary_becomes_talk_show_host/05/2010 "Benson says he doesn't know how McGary can do both jobs."

The rest of the City Council pretends to be worried if McGary can do both the radio show and serve on the council, while in reality they are grinning ear to ear, since they now have one of their own in place to speak to the dumb masses on the airwaves.

Perhaps, now McGary has outlasted his usefulness, and will be offered up as the new target or pawn sacrifice in this political chess game to give the public the illusion the council is dealing with internal corruption, while the truly wicked power mongers hold onto their thrones.

Politics is a lot like pro-wrestling, they all insult and accuse each other, threaten to kick each other's posteriors, but at the end of the day they are all the best of buddies laughing all the way to the bank on the taxpayer's dime.

And people wonder why a recall attempt was made? Growing pains of a city, perhaps? As the city population grows, it becomes harder for a corrupt power base to maintain control over more people. So, if the mayor follows through on his plans to annex the entire county, there will be 90,000 or so new city residents, all too eager to chant the antithesis of Obama's slogan and tell city government "no you can't" and "enough already" when they see stuff like this happen.

October 3, 2010 at 9:41 a.m.
Sorceress said...

So, he can basically attach any name he wishes to those donations, and date the disclosure form after the election period in his revised financial disclosure statement and isn't required to prove those names are actually the ones who made the donations on those dates?

Yet, the recall petition names must be proved and dated.

Even more hypocrisy from the wonderful election commission.

Makes you wonder when the last time someone was truly elected by the people or does the election commission just verify the vote for whomever Ward most recently endorsed financially?

October 3, 2010 at 3:06 p.m.
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