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Ethics Commission rejects complaint

Friday, November 9, 2018 by Jo Clifton

The Texas Ethics Commission has rejected a complaint filed against District 1 candidate Natasha Harper-Madison, but the attorney who filed the complaint indicated Thursday that he would rewrite his complaint and submit it to the commission next week. Harper-Madison will face Mariana Salazar in a Dec. 11 runoff to represent the Northeast Austin district. The commission notified attorney Matt Tynan by mail that his allegations against Harper-Madison were insufficient and encouraged him to re-file the complaint with additional information. The commission wrote that one of the allegations Tynan made against Harper-Madison, as well as against another District 1 candidate, Vince Harding, were not violations. According to the commission’s letter, “Your complaint alleges the respondent did not properly disclose political contributions or the total amount of political contributions accepted during a reporting period in violation of (the Election Code) … . However, the Commission filing software automatically applies the un-itemized contribution total to the A1 subtotal on Cover Sheet Page 3. When that software feature is accounted for, there is no discrepancy.” Tynan said Thursday, “At this point there’s still information missing. And ultimately it comes down to just one single issue, and that is where the contributions are.” While Tynan acknowledged that there may not be a problem with Harper-Madison’s filings, he is still not convinced they are accurate. Tynan said he has not yet received a letter from the commission concerning a similar complaint he filed against Harding. However, it seems likely that the software issue also caused confusion with Harding’s filings.

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