Complaint: Mitchell misspent, didn't properly track campaign fun - CBS46 News

Complaint: Mitchell misspent, didn't properly track campaign funds

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Source: Ceasar Mitchell via Facebook Source: Ceasar Mitchell via Facebook

A complaint obtained by CBS46 against Ceasar Mitchell by the Campaign Finance Commission alleges he mishandled thousands of dollars in campaign money.

The complaint mostly focuses on his 2013 campaign for the city council presidency, which he won, but also alleges he has improperly handled some money during his campaign for the mayor of Atlanta.

In March 2013, the finance commission notified Mitchell that the office opened the investigation to determine whether he violated the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Act.

At the core of the probable cause complaint, which seeks to find reason to investigate further is a rule that requires candidates file a declaration of intention to accept campaign contributions prior to accepting or spending money, including personal money, in “furtherance of the candidates’ campaign.”

It alleges Mitchell failed to disclose more than $280,000 in campaign spending.

$50,000 of that went to his campaign manager Keisha Carter, who works with Razor Consulting.

More than $205,000 in campaign spending also went undisclosed, according to the complaint. Finally, it alleges that Mitchell’s campaign failed to disclose $34,000 in campaign contributions.

The complaint alleges Mitchell misspent more campaign dollars in reimbursing himself for meetings, a subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and membership dues in the Atlanta Business League. One section says Mitchell reimbursed himself about $400 for tickets to an Atlanta Falcons game.

He also failed to disclose his personal financial disclosure statements for three previous years, a requirement of public office holders and those running for office.

A Georgia rule prohibits accepting  more than $100 for speaking engagements and the complaint alleges he accepted payments ranging from $250- $2,500 for such engagements from several organizations:

  • Allen Temple AME church, $500
  • Friendship Baptist Church, $300
  • Shiloh MBC Church, $500
  • Warren Memorial UMC Church, $250
  • Atlanta Metropolitan State College $2,500

Mitchell is alleged to have formed a political action committee, AtlantaNEXT, but to have not registered said PAC after it exceeded guidelines set by the Georgia law. Such PACs are required to keep up with money coming in and money going out and report that to the state under the Campaign Finance Act.

The PAC allegedly broke the rules after it spent more than $25,000  on his campaign in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Georgia law requires such PACS to register and keep records of who donates money and how much they donate.

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