Questions Arise About Rick Staples’ Campaign Spending


The media is raising questions about Tennessee State Rep. Rick Staples, D-Knoxville, and how he has spent his campaign finances.

This, according to a report The Tennessee Journal published Monday.

Staples did not respond to The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment Monday, by email, at his office, and on his Facebook page.

According to The Tennessee Journal, “Staples spent $1,200 at a local restaurant just before his wedding last year, and on a rental car, hotel stays, and air travel coinciding with his honeymoon.”

“Staples’ treasurer, Wes Knott, told the Knox News, he resigned before the lawmaker’s most recent campaign finance report was made, saying: ‘I just didn’t feel comfortable being treasurer anymore,’” The Tennessee Journal reported, adding Staples was evicted from his Knoxville home.

Staples reportedly described his former landlord’s actions as ‘a politically-motivated ‘character assassination.’”

“The Tennessee Registry of Campaign Finance has sent a letter to Staples asking him to clarify several expenditures. Five days after returning from his honeymoon, Staples was evicted from his home for failing to pay $8,875 in rent.”

The website continues by saying  “Staples’ former home was at 1970 Locarno Drive, a property owned by Lawrence Thompson. Staples’ campaign disclosures say he gave what he deemed to be ‘donations’ of $350 and $950 to a Larry Thompson of 1968 Locarno Drive. Staples said his eviction was related to a dispute over ‘fungus’ in the home.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last year, Staples resigned from a leadership position in the House following allegations of sexual harassment, multiple media outlets have reported.

“I have already publicly apologized for any distress I unintentionally caused. I have decided to step down from my leadership position of Assistant House Minority Leader so I can end the unwarranted suffering on my family, continue to serve my constituents unimpeded and end any distractions this may bring to the Tennessee House,” Staples said at the time.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Rick Staples” by Rick Staples.





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One Thought to “Questions Arise About Rick Staples’ Campaign Spending”

  1. Jim

    Wasn’t Staples also the guy who pushed the on-line sports gambling bill last year? Hmmm, someone with financial problems suddenly files and carries a Bill to legalize a form of gambling in Tennessee?

    Maybe someone ought to investigate his interactions with the gambling industry, legal and illegal. How does the line go? “Pass the Bill, or start wearing cement galoshes?”