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Ethics commission finds Kelly campaign violated law

Contributions from corporations are not allowed

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri Ethics Commission investigation showed former Columbia mayoral candidate Chris Kelly broke campaign finance law.

The investigation began in March after Chuck Graham filed a complaint alleging Kelly took an illegal contribution from Columbia Marketing Group. Graham was the treasurer of the campaign to re-elect Kelly's opponent, Mayor Brian Treece.

The ethics commission investigation concluded that Kelly broke the law when he accepted what was reported on his campaign finance forms as a $950 in-kind contribution because Columbia Marketing Group is a corporation. The Missouri Constitution bans political contributions by corporations.

Kelly later paid for the services that were initially listed as a contribution.

The ethics commission also found Kelly violated campaign finance laws by filing one of his finance reports a day late. Kelly paid a late fee for the late filing, according to the commission.

Kelly and Nikki Krawitz, treasurer for the campaign committee Friends of Chris Kelly, signed an ethics commission order outlining the violations June 10. 

Kelly, a former judge, state representative and Boone County clerk, lost to Treece in April as Treece sought a second term as Columbia mayor. Treece took about 64 percent of the vote.

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