A Rutherford County commissioner has asked state elections officials to investigate and audit County Mayor Bill Ketron’s state campaign finance account and his Quest PAC account to see if there are “additional violations of campaign finance laws.”
Commissioner Robert Stevens sent the letter dated July 22 to Janet Williams, interim director of the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance. Stevens wrote that he sent the letter after Ketron did not respond to a request to appear before the commission to answer questions about his campaign finances.
The Murfreesboro Post sent Ketron a message asking for comment but had not heard back as of press time.
In the letter, Stevens asked the registry to consider specific campaign finance expenditures that he said Ketron and Quest reported:
3rd quarter 2017: Quest PAC, $3,000 donation to Ketron’s county mayor campaign.
2nd quarter 2018, Quest, three “in-kind” expenditures to a direct mail vendor totaling $25,328.98; Stevens says the allocations happened in about 25 days of the May 1 primary and alleges one could have been a direct mail item criticizing one of Ketron’s opponents. Stevens says the PAC contribution limit in 2017 and 2018 was $7,800, and so he alleges that Quest went over that limit.
1st quarter 2018 state senate report: Ketron reported two expenditures as “campaign vehicle” for $792.84 and one as “2 payments on campaign truck” for $792.84. Stevens says that in the 2nd quarter report, Ketron reported three expenditures from his state campaign account as “campaign vehicle” totaling $3,567.78. In the 3rd quarter 2018 report, Ketron had “campaign vehicle” for $1,189.86 and one as “supplies get out the vote fish fry” for $220.81. Stevens says the only office Ketron was running for at the time was for county mayor, not state senate.
Stevens also asks the registry to refute reports in some media outlets that they and their board members may have offered Ketron “special treatment” by offering to reconsider his existing $60,000 in fines. He says the reports imply Ketron spoke privately with two board members of the registry.