By Philip Jankowski
Killeen Daily Herald
Jonathan Okray, the political activist behind the local recall movement, failed to file campaign finance reports listing expenditures of his political group leading up to November's election.
"He filed nothing," said City Secretary Paula Miller about the Killeen Tax Payers for Responsible and Accountable Governance, which raised money and paid for advertisements asking voters to recall Killeen's city council. Okray serves as the group's treasurer.
The Texas Ethics Commission, the state agency that tracks and enforces campaign finance rules, requires all candidates and political committees to file reports detailing donations and expenditures eight days prior to an election if donations or expenditures exceed $500.
Okray estimated he spent $3,800 on advertisements. His special-purpose committee received about $600 in donations. The rest came from his personal retirement savings.
When interviewed, Okray said he was unaware of the rule and thought he was in compliance, providing a form dated Oct. 24 showing his appointment as the group's treasurer.
"I have nothing to hide," said Okray who added that he has maintained records of all donations and expenditures by the political group and would file a report.
Okray's recall counterpart, Dan Corbin did file campaign finance reports indicating donations of $5,100 and expenditures of $2,675 for Citizens for a Prosperous Future, the political committee he organized to oppose the recall movement.
The former city council member and local attorney took out ads in opposition of the recall of former council members Larry Cole, Billy Workman, Scott Cosper, Juan Rivera and Kenny Wells. All five lost their seats by wide margins in the Nov. 8 election.
Okray's failure to provide campaign finance reports to the city could result in a civil penalty.
Tim Sorrells, deputy general counsel with the state ethics commission, said his agency could potentially assess a fine of more than $10,000 for the violation if someone files a complaint with the commission.
If Okray didn't submit the report on purpose, it could result in a class-C misdemeanor charge and a possible fine of $500, said County Attorney Rick Miller.
Okray said he was unaware of the filing deadlines and blamed the city for not providing him the forms or informing him of the deadline requirements.
"They have a duty and responsibility as city employees to let me know what I am doing wrong," he said. "They're looking ludicrous."
Contact Philip Jankowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.