February 23, 2012

Democrats file amended reports following story of incomplete expense reporting

A trio of Democrats who did not list thousands of dollars in campaign expenses last month has all now filed amended reports, TransparentNevada has learned.

In her February 17 story, the Sun's Anjeanette Damon found that Assembly Democrats Debbie Smith (Sparks), David Bobzien (Reno) and Lucy Flores (Las Vegas) were not including expenses related to their official duties in their annual Contribution and Expense report filed mid-January and covering all of 2011. Such expenses could include "rent in Carson City during the legislative session or travel to professional conferences." By law, campaign expenses cover office expenses, travel expenses and special events, along with other expenses "without limitation."

All three were relying on the counsel of attorney Bradley Schrager to justify not reporting the expenses.

On the same day the story was published, however, Bobzien and Smith filed amended reports that included campaign expenses relating to their public office. Flores filed her amended report on February 20.

Here are the expense numbers of the original and amended reports, with links pointing to the respective documents:

Member Original
expenses
Amended
expenses
Difference
David Bobzien $16,827.09 $21,674.07 $4,846.98
Debbie Smith $71,464.06 $86,160.64 $14,696.58
Lucy Flores $22,584.77 $31,134.26 $8,549.49

The quick turnaround between the story being published and the amendments being filed makes it obvious they had the full records on-hand but simply chose not to release them. Secretary of State Ross Miller is reportedly contacting the lawmakers and will determine how serious the infractions are and possibly “issue notices of violations.”