Friday, January 7, 2011

Leonard Hughes, Kansas City state rep, needs $19K to pay off ethics commission

Posted By on Fri, Jan 7, 2011 at 12:00 PM

click to enlarge Leonard Hughes is on the outs in Jeff City.
  • Leonard Hughes is on the outs in Jeff City.

Kansas City state Rep. Leonard Hughes can't afford to take his seat in the Legislature. He's like a broke guy standing outside a club, showing his empty, out-turned pockets to the bouncer while his friends bump 'n' grind inside. Well, maybe it's not exactly like that.

But until Hughes, a Democrat, can scrape together the $19,090 he owes the Missouri Ethics Commission, he'll remain on the outside, The Kansas City Star reports. State law prevents elected officials who owe the commission money from being seated in the Legislature.

Hughes racked up the impressive fines and fees in an assortment of

ways, The Star writes. He amassed $6,090 in late fees for filing

financial-disclosure forms late in 2006, 2007, 2009 and last year.

Hughes was also slapped with a $13,000 fine for reporting wrong amounts

of cash in his campaign coffers and using $3,000 for personal expenses.

The Star notes that the case is causing some confusion in Jeff City,

because the secretary of state's office included him on the list of

election winners, and house lawyers are trying to figure out what the

hell they're supposed to do. 

Oh, and he wants to be mayor.

He said in a statement announcing his candidacy, "I am running for

mayor because Kansas City deserves a leader dedicated

to serving the people and protecting their tax dollars." But their

campaign-donation dollars don't need protecting?

Depending on how theatrical his attempts to scrounge up the cash become or if he fights to be seated without paying, Hughes might be the front-runner for most oddly amusing mayoral candidate of the race so far.

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