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updated: 10/27/2010 3:02 PM

Hearing set on ethics complaint against 54th House candidate Morrison

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  • Tom Morrison

    Tom Morrison

  • Matt Flamm

    Matt Flamm


The Illinois State Board of Elections will hold a hearing Friday to determine what action, if any, will be taken on an ethics complaint against Tom Morrison, Republican candidate for the open 54th District state House seat.

In a complaint filed with the board this month, Deer Park resident Nancy Shepherdson claims Morrison's committee falsely reported receiving several contributions Feb. 1.

Shepherdson, a supporter of Morrison's Democratic opponent Matt Flamm, wrote "it is unlikely that Mr. Morrison received all of those contributions on the day immediately before the primary (which would conveniently allow him to delay reporting until the day after the primary)."

Morrison, a small-business owner from Palatine, earlier this month replaced campaign treasurer Drew Veeneman for recording inaccurate dates for 12 contributions totaling $15,000.

"I've discovered that my treasurer mishandled some important contributions in a February report, and I asked for his resignation," Morrison said in a statement.

Morrison added that the treasurer failed in his duty to ensure the committee was in compliance with state law regarding campaign finance disclosure, and that he'll work with election officials to rectify the situation.

A preliminary hearing on the complaint was held last week, but the results are not public. A hearing officer who presided over those proceedings will make a recommendation to the state board's general counsel, who in turn makes a recommendation to the State Officers Electoral Board.

Rupert Borgsmiller, State Board of Elections assistant executive director, said the board will meet in closed session Friday then take one of three actions: dismiss the complaint, rule it was filed on justifiable grounds but no further action is necessary because corrections have been made or forward the matter for a public hearing.

A public hearing likely wouldn't take place for a couple weeks, Borgsmiller said.

Similar claims alleging Morrison didn't report six contributions of more than $500 within the required two-day window, and failed to report a $2,000 contribution at all, were dismissed earlier this year. The new complaint accuses Morrison of misstating when he received up to 12 contributions.

The 54th District includes all or parts of Palatine, South Barrington, Inverness, Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates and Rolling Meadows.