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Disclosure complaint against Crockett dismissed

Published June 23, 2012 6:55 pm

Early April campaign disclosure didn't violate law, clerk says.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A campaign financial-disclosure complaint against Republican Salt Lake County mayoral candidate Mark Crockett has been denied after a review by the county District Attorney's Office.

Brent Overson, a former county commissioner, had claimed in the May 21 complaint that Crockett's early April report was too vague to satisfy disclosure requirements. Overson is a supporter of West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder, Crockett's opponent in the GOP primary Tuesday.

Dahnelle Burton-Lee, chief deputy over elections in the County Clerk's Office, informed Overson and Crockett on Friday that no violation had occurred.

"Due to the lack of clarity and a clear understanding of what detail was required under the county's ordinance for reporting expenditures at the time Mr. Crockett filed his April 5 disclosure," she said, "his disclosure report substantially complied with the ordinance by reporting the expenditures made by his campaign and providing that information to the public."

Burton-Lee added that the district attorney advised the clerk's office to provide additional directions to all candidates before the next filing deadline (Sept. 15) about the level of detail required in reporting campaign expenditures.

"This was the first time our office had received a complaint regarding the detail required by the county ordinance," Burton-Lee noted, prompting the request for the district attorney's opinion.

Overson had complained that Crockett's early April disclosure form described 90 percent of the campaign's expenditures only as payments to the consulting firm run by Crockett's campaign manager, Randy O'Hara. The six payments to O'Hara & Associates totaled $27,150.

Crockett, a Holladay businessman and former county councilman, said at the time that O'Hara handled all of his campaign work and that the payments were compensation for buying signs, mailers and radio ads, plus the time he spent on the job.

In its latest campaign filing in recent days, the Crockett campaign listed $82,000 in expenditures to O'Hara & Associates and described how that money was spent in a three-page addendum.

When he filed the complaint, Overson said it was in retaliation for a complaint filed by Crockett supporter Curtis Patterson against Winder. In that complaint, Patterson claimed the West Valley mayor had raised and spent money before formally announcing his candidacy for county office and had mixed funds between his city and county accounts.

Burton-Lee informed Patterson on June 12 that the Winder campaign's form complied with disclosure requirements.

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