Cheryl Maher says Kevin Garn lied about hot tub contact
Hush money may have violated election laws
Garn did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment. However, his wife, Tanya, told the Deseret News that she is sure the payment was made after Garn already had been defeated in the GOP primary that year.
That timing would be evidence that the spending was not intended to influence a campaign — because the campaign had ended — unless such a payment had been promised before the election to ensure silence.
Maher said she cannot remember for sure exactly when money was offered because it was an emotionally difficult time, but she made available e-mails she kept from the period that show Garn's wife and son, before the election, tried to persuade her not to go public.
One from Garn's wife in June 2002 said, "If you really believe that Kevin shouldn't be a congressman, there are other ways of dealing with this instead of playing it out in the newspaper in which my family and I will ultimately suffer."
Garn reported raising $828,000 for his 2002 congressional campaign, with $713,756 (or 86 percent) coming from his own pocket. He reported spending all but $269 of what he raised, according to a final disclosure form he filed in 2003. None of his disclosure forms that year mention the $150,000 in hush money.
Hilland said the FEC investigates whether such non-disclosures amount to a violation either when someone in the public makes a formal complaint or if its own compliance staff finds a potential problem.
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