AG's office investigating lawmakers' campaign accountsRICKEY STOKES
Posted by: RStokes
Date: Jan 27 2018 8:44 PM
Certainly at one point both men believed they could spend their campaign funds as they wanted without fear of being caught. Or so they thought.
When state Rep. Oliver Robinson pleaded guilty last year to federal corruption charges, he copped to more than taking bribes from lobbyists. Among the crimes he admitted was using campaign funds to pay personal expenses, including $2,024 he spent at Saks Fifth Avenue and $400 at Victoria's Secret.
Likewise, when state Rep. Micky Hammon pleaded guilty to mail fraud last year, he too admitted to transferring campaign funds to his personal bank account -- money he later used to fund a failed private business venture in Hoover. Federal prosecutors have said that Hammon converted more than $50,000 of campaign funds for his personal use.
But if you looked at either of these men's campaign accounts there was never any evidence there of suspicious transactions. Not a clue.
While state law requires Alabama politicians to disclose campaign expenditures and itemize any greater than $100, the state has no mechanism to ensure what lawmakers report is accurate.
That is, maybe, until now.