Indiana House budget editor misses campaign $30,000
The lawmaker who was tasked with leading the Indiana House budget committee and crafting the multi-billion dollar state budget appears to have lost just under $30,000.
According to Rep. Tim Brown’s final campaign finance report, the Crawfordsville Republican’s campaign gave the incumbent lawmaker $29,995 from his campaign account. But, as first reported by Fort Wayne Journal GazetteBrown said he did not actually receive this payment.
He told IndyStar his account was $29,995 short and could not account for it. He had to balance the account to close it for his retirement, he said, so he wrote that the money was his.
He suggested it might just be an accounting error.
“Many years ago there was an accounting problem and the secretary of state showed that I had more money than I actually had,” Brown told IndyStar. “So I didn’t have that money in my account.”
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First elected in 1994, Brown said he had no idea when or how what he called the accounting problem arose. He added that it would have been “impossible” to understand now.
Brown said he didn’t think he was breaking the rules, but he wasn’t sure.
Either way, he doesn’t seem to be facing a severe penalty. Under Indiana law, if someone files a “faulty” campaign finance report, they could be fined $100.
Someone would have to file a written complaint with the Indiana Elections Commission to start the process, and so far no complaints have been filed, according to the two co-directors of the Indiana Division of Elections.
If a complaint is filed, the committee would be notified and given time to correct the error, before any hearing by the electoral commission to determine whether the candidate should be fined.
Brown spent the remaining $15,000 in his account on various things, including contributing $12,000 to the House campaign committee and $3,000 to reimburse his wife for incidental campaign expenses and a meal for his committee.
Brown was chosen to serve as chairman of House Ways and Means from 2012 and is not running for re-election in November.