County clerk responds to campaign finance complaints in Salt Lake County mayoral race
Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Clerk's Office has responded to campaign finance complaints against the Republican candidates for county mayor, dismissing one allegation and forwarding the other to the district attorney.
Last month, a complaint was filed against Mike Winder by a supporter of fellow GOP mayoral candidate Mark Crockett, alleging that Winder improperly mixed funds from his West Valley City and Salt Lake County campaigns.
Following an investigation, county clerk Sherrie Swensen said her office determined Winder "substantially complied" with the requirements and intent of the county's campaign finance laws.
"We are pleased but not surprised by the ruling from the county clerk's office," said Jake Dennis, Winder's campaign manager. "Throughout this campaign, we have worked closely with the county clerk's office to make sure we are following all campaign rules and will continue to do so."
Also Tuesday, the Crockett campaign was informed that a financial complaint filed by a Winder supporter has been forwarded to the district attorney's office.
"We've asked them to review it and give us a legal opinion," Swensen said.
As a response to the allegation against Winder, former County Commissioner Brent Overson filed a formal complaint with the clerk's office that Crockett's financial disclosures were too vague, particularity as it related to money paid to campaign manager Randy O'Hara for expenditures.
"Obviously, we don't think the complaint has a whole lot of credibility," O'Hara said Tuesday, calling it "a retaliatory action" by a Winder supporter. "There was no specific grievance or violation cited. We don't believe we've broken any rules or even the spirit of it."
O'Hara said the campaign welcomes a decision by the district attorney as to whether there were any violations.
"If they want us to be more specific (about itemized campaign expenditures), we're happy to do that," he said. "We have nothing to hide."
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