Harold Love Jr. Reportedly Used Campaign Money Illegally

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Tennessee State Rep. Harold Love Jr., D-Nashville, used campaign money for illegal purposes, according to an audit the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance recently released.

Love failed to report thousands of dollars in campaign contributions. He also spent more than $13,000 on food and beverage expenses, and otherwise did a shoddy job maintaining his financial records, auditors said.

It is illegal to use campaign funds for personal purposes.

“Rep. Love incurred and reported numerous food and beverage expenses during the two-year audit period (approximately 300 transactions totaling over $13,400),” auditors wrote.

“The disbursements range from $2.50 to $1,223.94, with 8 of the transactions over $100 and 109 of the transactions being $20 or less. The volume of transactions and small dollar amounts of individual transactions appear to indicate individual meal purchases or snack type purchases instead of catering or food purchases for campaign events.”

Based on the frequency and location of the transactions the expenditures were apparently not campaign related. Those expenditures occurred on 191 days throughout the election and non-election year, auditors said.

Also in violation of Tennessee law, Love did not report $5,580 in campaign contributions during his 2016 election campaign, according to the audit.

Auditors also said Love did not keep adequate records to support campaign expenses resulting in numerous discrepancies in the reporting of campaign expenditures.

Tennessee law requires a candidate report all campaign expenditures, whether itemized or un-itemized.

Among the other findings:

  • Love reported three un-itemized expenses totaling $118.93 that were not paid through the campaign account and therefore appear to have not been incurred.
  • Love failed to disclose $458.07 in expenditures adjustments.
  • Love failed to itemize $12,865.95 in expenditures in violation of state law.

“Rep Love overstated his reported expenses by $2,859.59 by double reporting expenses,” auditors wrote.

“Most of the double reported expenses were properly reported on a pre–election report but then were reported again on the subsequent quarterly report.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

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