BY JENNIFFER WARDELL
CENTERVILLE – After already dismissing an earlier set of complaints against council member-elect Tami Fillmore, Lt. Governor Spencer Cox is being asked to once again investigate Fillmore and others.
Ten Centerville residents have filed complaints against Fillmore, Centerville Mayor-elect Paul Cutler and former city council candidate Jack Dellastatious about their campaign financial disclosure statements. Davis County Attorney Troy Rawlings said that the complaints will be forwarded to the lieutenant governor’s office for investigation.
“When they’re done, we’ll coordinate with them about what direction to go,” he said. He added that he couldn’t predict when the investigation would be completed.
Several of the complaints allege that Fillmore submitted her initial financial disclosure statement too early, the same issue that Cox already evaluated and dismissed before the November election. Other complaints allege that the candidates didn’t disclose the in-kind value of the letter sent out by the mayor and the city council or the cost of robo calls, fliers and Facebook ads. All three candidates have denied the allegations.
“I know you are concerned about allowing the voice of the people to speak in this matter,” wrote former city council candidate George McEwan in an e-mail to Centerville City Attorney Lisa Romney that asked her to remove Fillmore from the ballot and declare the November election null and void.
“I agree, they should be allowed to speak. But they should be given the dignity of voting in a legitimate election which this one, because of bias or incompetence, was not,” he continued.
McEwan, along with former mayoral candidate Larry Wright, submitted several complaints against multiple candidates. According to Centerville City records, McEwan received the lowest number of votes among the four city council candidates in the recent election, receiving 1,673 votes. Fillmore received the highest number of votes among the four candidates, coming in at 2,023.
Previously, complaints had been filed with the lieutenant governor’s office, alleging that Fillmore should be removed from the ballot because she had filed her financial disclosure statement too early and should be removed from the ballot. Though state law says that the filing must be done seven days before the election, Centerville City law says that it cannot be earlier than 10 days before the election.
On Oct. 31, Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox sent a letter of response to Romney and others dismissing the charge.
“It appears Centerville Municipal Code 2-03-110b exceeds the regulatory scope adopted by Utah State Code and I find no statutory provision which would allow a candidate to be disqualified for filing a campaign financial statement more than 10 days before the election,” he wrote in the letter.
McEwan then filed a lawsuit against Centerville City on Nov. 4 related to Fillmore’s early filing. Judge Michael G. Allphin dismissed the case on Nov. 7.
“Personally, I believe there is no story here,” said Fillmore. “The lieutenant governor himself and a judge at the second district court have already spoken to this issue and it is very much settled.”
Among his complaints, McEwan accused Fillmore of sending in an amended disclosure on Oct. 30, the day after the filing period. Though it was not marked “amended,” city records show that the city received McEwan’s final financial disclosure statement on Nov. 19.