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May 5, 1999

Davis Enters Guilty Plea for Failure to File Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports

Scott County Attorney William E. Davis pled guilty late Wednesday to two counts of failing to file required campaign finance disclosure reports. Davis was sentenced by Associate District Court Judge Jack Broderick to a deferred judgment, one year's probation, and court costs. Davis was ordered to return and appear before the court on May 3, 2000.

According to Asst. Atty. Gen. Harold Young, who handled the prosecution, Judge Broderick said from the bench that he was granting a deferred judgment because Davis had no prior record, because Davis already has paid $2500 in civil fines to the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board for late reporting, and because other citizens would be treated the same way. The court is empowered to dismiss the matter if Davis completes the probation successfully with no violations of state or federal law.

The matter had been referred to the Attorney General for prosecution by the State's Ethics and Campaign Finance Disclosure Board. The Board had alleged that Davis failed to file or timely file required campaign finance reports detailing contributions and expenditures. Davis has been Scott Attorney since 1979.

The Attorney General's Office filed a trial information containing two counts alleging that Davis failed to file annual campaign finance disclosure reports as required by Iowa law. Each count was a serious misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of a year in jail. Davis pled guilty to the charges today and was sentenced by Judge Broderick in Scott District Court in Davenport.

Kay Williams, Executive Director of the Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board said:

"We are in the business of receiving campaign finance reports, because it is the public's right to know how money is raised and spent in campaigns. The Davis committee repeatedly has failed to provide that public information, either by not filing required disclosures, filing late, or filing inaccurately. We repeatedly have asked Mr. Davis to correct this situation, but he has not been cooperative. In fairness to the hundreds of committees who voluntarily comply with the law, we felt it was necessary to take the next step in enforcement."

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