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TUSD Campaign Violation Claims: Hicks files 3 complaints with investigative agencies

Posted at 5:58 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 20:58:57-04
New developments today in our investigation into claims of campaign violations by two TUSD board members seeking re-election. Board member Micheal Hicks tells KGUN9 he's filed complaints with the Pima County Elections Department and Attorney General's Office.

And we just learned that the Pima County Superintendent of Schools is forwarding the complaint to the Pima County Attorney's Office for further investigation.

The TUSD campaign finance issue Wednesday addressed at the Pima County Election Integrity Commission meeting. Bill Beard is a member. He says campaign finance problems go directly to the heart of public trust in elections. "It leads to cynicism and lack of trust in our process," said Beard.

Here's Beard's concern: The attorney for Carly Brooks, the donor, and Robert Brooks, her husband, said both their names appeared on the $5,000 contribution checks to Kristel Foster and Cam Juarez.
But Robert Brooks' name did not appear on either Foster's or Juarez's campaign finance reports listed on the Pima County Election website. "Since that spouse is known to be a contractor for TUSD, that raises serious questions about corruption, potential campaign finance violations, etc.," said Beard.
Beard said candidates sign an affidavit agreeing to follow all the state and county rules. And rules state -- spouse names must be filed for large donations. "And you don't, that's on you as the campaign treasurer. That's on you as a campaign manager," said Beard. Beard said candidates shouldn't cash large checks like these until all donor names have been verified.     

During the meeting, Pima County Elections Director, Brad Nelson, explained if any investigation into campaign finance violations reveals problems his department hands over the research to the Pima County Attorney's Office.

Kristel Foster and Cam Juarez told KGUN9 they are giving the campaign contributions back to the donor -- Carly Brooks. 

We'll keep you updated on any developments.