A constituent of Councilman Bo Mitchell today filed a complaint against the councilman for violation the law relating to the signatures required on the Campaign Financial Disclosure Statement for State and Local Candidates. The Campaign Financial Disclosure Statement requires that someone witness the signatures of the candidate and the political treasurer.
According to Tennessee State Law: “All statements required by this part shall be signed by the person filling such statement in the presence of one (1) witness who shall sign such statements as a witness. The treasurer shall not be authorized to sign as a witness.”
The Disclosure Statement completed and signed by Councilman Bo Mitchell was witnessed by the treasurer of his campaign, Chastity Mitchell. Chastity Mitchell in addition to being Bo Mitchell's treasurer is also his wife.
This appears clear-cut: Bo Mitchell violated the State Campaign Disclosure law. If Mitchell was a new candidate and this was his first time to file, one might be tempted to dismiss this as the simple mistake of a novice. However, this is not the first time Mitchell has violated this section of the law. On Mitchell’s Campaign Financial Disclosure Statements dated 1/25/10, 7/15/10, 1/10/11, and 4/10/11 Mitchell's treasurer, Chastity Mitchell, witnessed each of the statements. She was the only witness; there was no other.
Equally disturbing, as Bo Mitchell's violation of the law in filing his campaign report on these four occasions, is that this violation was never caught by the Election Commission. What is the purpose of having laws if no one polices the law? Why even have people file reports if the reports are not going to be reviewed for compliance?
I would like to know: (1) Why did Bo Mitchell not follow the law, and (2) who at the election commission was responsible for reviewing the Disclosure Statements, (3) why the incorrect filling was not discovered, and (4) what will the election commission do to insure this does not happen again.