Former State Rep. Jeremy Durham, current Tennessee Rep. Joe Towns, (D-TN-84) and Rutherford County Mayor Bill Ketron owe the state of Tennessee $570,000 in unpaid fines, according to The Tennessean.
The three cases are part of the almost $1.9 million in fines owed to the Registry of Election Finance (REF) and the Tennessee Ethics Commission (TEC), which are two governmental agencies that serve as an auditor for state campaign finance laws and ethics rules. Respectively, the REF has $1.5 million and the TEC has $345,000 in unpaid fines.
Durham and his political action committee owe more than $475,000 in unpaid fines. Durham was expelled from the Tennessee Statehouse after an investigation found he sexually harassed at least 22 women.
Towns has $45,000 in unpaid fines going back to 2017. The Tennessean questioned how he was allowed on the 2018 ballot when he owed $10,000 in fines. According to Tennessee law, candidates who have any penalties can’t appear on the ballot.
The Democrat representative ran unopposed in 2018 and has been serving Tennessee’s 84th District since 1994.
Ketron and his PAC need to pay Tennessee $50,000 in outstanding fines. The current Rutherford County mayor recently had his insurance office searched by the Murfreesboro Police Department in July. Also, Ketron’s daughter Kelsey resigned in July from the Tennessee Republican Party Executive Committee after being accused of fraudulent insurance practices at her father’s business.
The registry’s unpaid fines date back to the 1990s and up to 2019 with fines between $10 and $10,000. In addition, the TEC fines go back to 2008, The Tennessean reported.
Right now, Tennessee’s REF is investigating former Tennessee Speaker of the House Glen Casada for possibly misspending campaign money.
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