Tahlequah Daily Press

November 5, 2012

Flaw in ethics report sparks questions

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — Sen. Jim Wilson, D-Tahlequah, on Friday raised questions about District 3 State Senate Republican candidate Wayne Shaw’s recently filed ethics reports, saying a contribution was amended, possibly at the state level.

The ethics report filed Oct. 29 by Shaw shows a $500 donation to his campaign made by the Cherokee County Federation of Democrat Women.

“One of two things [happened],” said Wilson. “[Shaw] made a mistake, which is what he told the Tulsa World when they called him on it, or the candidate wanted his surrogates to say Democrats in Cherokee County were supporting him.”

Wilson said Shaw’s opponent, Democrat Jim Bynum of Cherokee County, made an issue about the “error." Shaw then filed an amended report, correcting the donor as the Cherokee County Republican Women.

“That’s proper,” said Wilson. “But somehow, the original report on the ethics commission computer was changed, deleting the reference to the Cherokee County Federation of Democrat Women, and putting the $500 in miscellaneous donations at the bottom of the report. I don’t think Shaw could change the ethics report once filed. [I think] he must have had help in Oklahoma City at the ethics office.”

Documents filed for Shaw's campaign at www.ok.gov/ethics show two C1-R reports. The original shows a $500 donation in the miscellaneous section, but no donation from the Cherokee County Federation of Democrat Women. An amended C1-R removes the $500 miscellaneous donation, and shows a $500 donation from the Cherokee County Republican Women.

Wilson provided the Daily Press with a copy of the initial, unaltered C1-R showing a $500 donation from the Cherokee County Federation of Democrat Women.

“You’ll see on the ethics site, in the original report, the error is no longer on there, and they moved the $500 to the bottom of the report to a miscellaneous section for contributions under $50 ,” said Wilson. “We mere mortals, once we file a report, can’t change it. Now I can’t prove it, but I believe someone, possibly in the IT department at the ethics commission, changed the original report. I am going to send a letter to the state’s attorney general on Monday.”