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City council candidate files large campaign donations out of time limit

Daryl Dudley under fire

COLUMBIA, Mo. - A candidate for Columbia's city council failed to disclose major contributions to his campaign in the time state law dictates.

Daryl Dudley is running for the city's Fourth Ward seat on the council. New filings with Missouri Ethics Commission show $60,000 in donations to his campaign last week - one worth $10,000 and another worth $50,000. State law demands candidates notify the state in as many as 48 hours of donations greater than $5,000. While the disclosures were made to the state on Thursday, the donation shows Dudley received the gifts on March 9 and 10 respectively.

Dudley's opponent, incumbent Ian Thomas, criticized Dudley at a debate on Monday for not filing his campaign information the state. Dudley explained that he had filed the proper information, such as the committee organization and financial disclosure, to the Boone County Clerk office.

"You can file it electronically or you can do it by paper," Dudley said. "We do it by paper. It's how we did it the first two times I ran,  that's how we'll continue to do it."

Candidates in cities with populations greater than 100,000 people are considered "dual filers." While they need to file information with the county clerk, state law requires them to also file with the state's Ethics Commission. Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren told ABC 17 News that Dudley filed his committee organization on January 15 and his first financial disclosure on February 24. However, she said a staff member in the clerk's office told Dudley Monday he still needed to file the same work to the state.

While Dudley did send that paperwork to the state during his 2013 campaign for the Fourth Ward, he had not filed the same paperwork this year until Thursday, according to his campaign information posted on the Ethics Commission website. The page for Dudley's 2016 campaign also contains two disclosures of large donations - one from the Central Missouri Development Council for $10,000, and another from Citizens for a Better Columbia totaling $50,000. The latter organization spent more than $105,000 in November 2014 to oppose "Proposition 2," a development fee increase for new construction that would have funded infrastructure improvements, which Thomas supported.

While Dudley did file a notice for the donations greater than $5,000, he made them on Thursday. The donation from Central Missouri Development Council was made March 9, and the Citizens for a Better Columbia donation was made March 10 - each more than a week after the notice, when law dictates notice be given within 48 hours.

Neither Dudley or his treasurer, Paul Land, responded to calls or requests for comment on the story.

The Missouri Ethics Commission website did not list whether it had dealt with a formal complaint about Dudley's campaign reporting. The commission is not allowed to say whether it has received or is investigating a complaint, but can release a final disposition. The commission did investigate one complaint against Thomas in November 2015 regarding his use of his city email address to advocate for a ballot issue. However, the commission decided "no reasonable grounds" existed to show he misused public funds by sending the email.


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