Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore apparently failed to disclose up to $150,000 in income on a federal disclosure report filed with the Senate Ethics Committee.
In response, a public interest watchdog, the Campaign Legal Center (“CLC”), filed an ethics complaint with that same Senate body.
A press release announcing the complaint, notes:
Moore told the Alabama Ethics Commission in April that he earned up to $150,000 in speaking fees in 2016, but in June failed to disclose these payments to the Senate Ethics Committee, nor did he disclose any proceeds raised for his own legal defense fund, following his suspension from the Alabama Supreme Court.
Moore was famously suspended from his position as Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for refusing to remove a statue of the Ten Commandments from the Alabama Judicial Building–even after ordered to do so by a federal court. He responded to his suspension with comments that he would defy court orders in the future, effectively forcing his removal from that office in 2003.
Moore then ran for–and won–election as Chief Justice again. He loudly violated the law while in this office again after instructing other judges to continue to enforce the state’s ban on same-sex marriages–even though the Supreme Court had found such bans unconstitutional. He was suspended–but ultimately not removed–from office a second time in 2016.
Moore appealed his second suspension–but lost–and then retired to run for Senate in a special election to replace Jeff Sessions.
In an April filing with the Alabama Ethics Commission, Moore listed between $50,000 and $150,000 in income for “Honorariums.” Two months later, however, Moore failed to disclose those same amounts to the Senate Ethics Committee. There was no obvious reason for the lapse in the second report. In their press release noting the ethics complaint, the CLC’s Brendan Fischer said:
Personal financial disclosure reports provide the most basic means by which voters can keep tabs on officials and track and deter payoffs and conflicts of interest. By failing to accurately report his income and financial interests, Moore is disregarding his basic legal responsibilities as a candidate.
Moore’s apparent filing incongruity is not the first alleged ethical lapse by the disgraced former judge and current candidate. On September 21, CLC filed a complaint with the IRS which claimed that Moore’s charity, the Foundation for Moral Law, had improperly spent organizational funds on behalf of his Senate candidacy.
LawNewz reached out to Moore’s campaign for comment on this story, but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication. This post will be updated if and when such a reply is received.
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Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher