When the lights come up on the 2014 legislative session, lobbyists and lawmakers will remain in the dark about how to navigate new ethics rules that take effect Jan. 1 but won’t be interpreted by ethics regulators until much later.
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The state ethics commission met Wednesday and resolved several cases while sending others on for hearings and potential fines.
Two cases involving Cherokee County tea parties were referred to the Attorney General’s Office for further action. Both involved allegations that activists there raised and spent money to influence an election without filing proper campaign reports.
Former Secretary of State Karen Handel was ordered to pay a $75 fine for filing a campaign finance report late during her failed bid for the Republican nomination for governor in 2010. Another complaint against her was dismissed while in two others she and commission staff were ordered to make sure proper records are filed.
A complaint against Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill was referred to the Attorney General’s Office for further action. Hill was accused of improperly spending campaign funds after losing the 2008 general election. The complaint alleges Hill spent $7,000 with a Las Vegas political consulting firm that he owns.