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List of unpaid campaign disclosures continues to grow in Macon

Records show nine Macon-Bibb elected officials in total have late fees for failing to file their Georgia Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports on time
Randall Savage is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and host of 13WMAZ's "Close Up" talk show which airs Saturdays at noon and 6 a.m. Sundays. Follow him on Twitter at @RandallWMAZ.

MACON, Ga. — Add six names to the list of elected officials who haven’t paid fines for failing to file their Georgia Campaign Financial Disclosure Reports on schedule.

The six includes a judge, two state representatives, a Macon-Bibb County commissioner, a Macon Water Authority member, and a Bibb County Board of Education member.

On June 24, Michael Odom of Macon held a news conference to disclose that a state senator and two Macon-Bibb commissioners hadn’t paid their fines for failing to file their reports on time.

Those three, Odom said, are state Senator David Lucas and Commissioners Elaine Lucas and Virgil Watkins, Jr. Because Odom only named three elected officials and the three were African Americans, WMAZ decided to check the campaign financial disclosure reports of all the elected officials who represent all or part of Bibb County. The search revealed six other officials owed late fees.

Those six are Bibb County Probate Court Judge Sarah Harris, $250; state Rep. Danny Mathis, $125; state Rep. Miriam Paris, $250; Macon-Bibb Commissioner Mallory Jones, $375; Macon Water Authority member Javors Lucas, $1,000; and Bibb County Board of Education member Daryl Morton, $250.

Contacted by phone, Morton said his two late fees had been paid. A check of the state documents while Morton was still on the phone revealed a third late fee had been added to his report and the three of them had been paid. When asked if he paid the $375 late fees during the phone conversation, Morton said, “it’s been taken care of.”

Harris said she wasn’t aware of any late fees, but "(she'll) look into it." Mathis also said he wasn’t aware of the late fee.

Jones, however, said he doesn’t agree with disclosure reports.

“I would dispute two of those,” he said. “They are incorrect and I’ll be in touch with them. My records don’t show that. One is probably legitimate. I might pay the disputed ones, too.”

Neither Paris nor Javors Lucas could be reached for comment. According to the disclosure forms, Lucas owes $1,000 in late fees while Paris owes $250. Javors Lucas is Paris’ father.

During his Monday news conference, Odom said David Lucas owed $2,125 in late fees and his wife Elaine Lucas owed $500. He said Watkins owed $1,375. David Lucas and Watkins couldn’t be reached for comment. But Elaine Lucas said the disclosure reports are wrong. She said they’re laced with errors because of the way elected officials have been required to report the campaign contributions.

At one point, she said candidates were required to submit their disclosure reports to the board of elections. Other times, Lucas said candidates had to e-file the reports. Now, they’re sent directly to the Atlanta offices.

Some of the elected officials, including Elaine Lucas, said they’ll be reviewing their files and contacting the state office to work with those officials to identify and correct any problems.


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