Update: Review shows campaign finance allegations unsubstantiated
Feb. 20, 2012 at 4:34 a.m.
<strong>Update:</strong> A review of Upshur County District Judge Lauren Parish's campaign finance reports showed a majority of the six allegations filed with the Texas Ethics Commission against her by a tea party supporter are unsubstantiated.
Jim Doyle of Conroe filed the complaint against Parish on Feb. 6 with the Texas Ethics Commission, accusing her of multiple campaign finance report violations. Doyle has ties to the tea party and has filed complaints against political figures from Austin, Tomball, El Paso and other areas of the state.
A primary point of his complaint says Parish used political contributions to pay a spouse or dependent child for campaign work, violating the law. Todd Parish, who is listed as received two $500 expenditures on her campaign finance report, is Lauren Parish's brother - not her husband or child, her attorney Sam Baxter said.
Doyle said Monday afternoon that the ethics commission will disregard that portion of the complaint if she is permitted to pay her brother for work under election law.
"There were things that weren't explained in her campaign finance report," Doyle said. "You've got to be really explicit when you fill out your reports so people know what's going on."
<em>Pick up tomorrow's Longview News-Journal for more on this and other stories.</em>
Upshur County District Judge Lauren Parish has been accused of multiple campaign finance violations, according to a complaint filed with the Texas Ethics Commission.
The complaint was filed against Parish Feb. 6 by Jim Doyle of Conroe. Doyle noted that during the past two years, Parish had knowingly used campaign funds to pay her spouse for campaign work, made an unlawful contribution to a political committee, failed to fully disclose contributors' primary occupations, job titles and employers or law firms, failed to fully disclose the recipients of political expenditures, and filed several incomplete reports, according to William Elmer with the Texas Ethics Advisory Board.
Knowingly using political contributions to pay a spouse or dependent child for campaign work carries a Class A misdemeanor charge. Elmer wrote that Parish signed her campaign finance reports under the penalty of perjury.
"Making a false, material, perjurious statement during or in connection with an official Texas Ethics Commission proceeding constitutes aggravated perjury, a felony of the third degree," Elmer said. "Judge Parish will likely spend a great deal defending the allegations, not only in personal time but legal and travel expenses."
Parish is the 115th District Court Judge in Upshur County. She also serves Marion County.