• December 22, 2014

Killeen ISD candidate files complaint against opponent

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Posted: Wednesday, May 7, 2014 11:45 pm

The Bell County Attorney’s Office is looking into a complaint filed against a Killeen Independent School District school board candidate.

Lan Carter, a candidate in Saturday’s election, filed a complaint against candidate Aya Eneli with a criminal investigator for the Bell County Attorney’s Office, claiming that Eneli conducted an illegal raffle at her campaign kickoff party March 30.

Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols said Wednesday he’s in the preliminary stages of looking into the complaint.

“This is a situation where there may have been a raffle,” he said. “I would not characterize it as an investigation. We had a complaint made to our office and we’re in the very early process of looking into it.”

Although fliers for Eneli’s campaign kickoff event stated there would be a raffle, Eneli said it was brought to her attention that a raffle where participants pay for tickets would be illegal. Instead, Eneli said she held an “auction” and attendees received a free ticket to win items.

“I have personally spoken to the Texas Ethics Commission and we are not in violation of any laws,” Eneli said in a statement to the Herald last month.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Eneli said she had not been contacted by the county attorney’s office.

“That’s news to me that a complaint was filed,” she said Wednesday. “I have not been contacted and certainly I encourage them to look into it. I know that we did not violate (any rules). I’ve spoken personally to Lan about it. I don’t know who she’s getting her information from. She wasn’t there in person.”

Carter unofficially dropped out of the race Wednesday by endorsing fellow candidate Marvin Rainwater, who, along with Eneli and Brockley Moore, are running for the Place 4 seat in the election on Saturday.

The Texas Ethics Commission cannot make rulings on whether a specific case is a violation.

However, it can provide information about the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act, which states that legal raffles can only be conducted by certain nonprofit organizations.

A raffle that violates the Charitable Raffle Enabling Act is considered to be illegal gambling under the Texas Penal Code, according to Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office. Conducting an illegal raffle is a Class A misdemeanor and participation in one is a Class C misdemeanor.

At her kickoff event, Eneli said she accepted donated door prizes, which were listed on her campaign finance reports.

“I hope we can get back to focusing on the well-being of our children and not all the negativity that seems to be swirling,” Eneli said.

Ultimately, Eneli said, it’s up to the voters to look at the information presented and choose the best candidate.

“The timing of all of this is really interesting. I understand that one of the statements that has been put out is that there’s only two people who have a chance of winning, so obviously, somebody must see me as a threat and wants to make sure that they ... impact the results of the election,” Eneli said. “I think our voters are smart and they can look at my record for what it is.”

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5 comments:

  • DawgDave posted at 11:24 pm on Thu, May 8, 2014.

    DawgDave Posts: 200

    It was brought to the attention of the KDH and all three local TV stations over a month ago. I'm not sure when the Bell County Attorney learned of it.

     
  • overseer posted at 7:29 pm on Thu, May 8, 2014.

    overseer Posts: 45

    This is all very interesting. As I read the article and got down to the portion where Mrs. Eneli said that the timing was interesting as to when this information came out I have to admit that the timing was interesting in the fact that it didn't happen sooner.
    Think about it, why would someone strategically wait until after the early elections to try and sabotage an opponent. The damage at the polls would have already been done to a degree. It seems to me that the "timing" was nothing planned. I will say also that Caster's timing at pulling out and shifting support to Mr. Rainwater was bad in that he could be received more of her supporters votes.
    Well, i guess we will have to wait and see what the investi... Oh...i mean looking into of this allegation reveals.

     
  • DawgDave posted at 1:51 pm on Thu, May 8, 2014.

    DawgDave Posts: 200

    This is poorly written article. I contacted the KDH well over one month ago about this raffle. Until some other people started contacting them they did nothing. This paper has the facts, but they chose not to print them. They are as unethical as is Eneli.

     
  • raggedhand posted at 7:03 am on Thu, May 8, 2014.

    raggedhand Posts: 5

    A raffle is against campaign rules. Ms. Eneli held a raffle. She called it a raffle on her FaceBook account (all deleted now, but copies of the posts were made by several people). She gave away money substitutes (gift certificates and a cards) as a prize. All of this is illegal and against state campaign laws and Texas gambling laws.

    If this was a mistake it's a careless one and for a lawyer, doubly careless. But what is worse is trying to cover up and spin. Yes, voters are smart and can see through spin and will vote for the person they think will talk to them honestly and own up to their mistakes.

    Everyone makes mistakes. Character is shown in how you make them right and how you own up to them.

     
  • lancarter posted at 4:33 am on Thu, May 8, 2014.

    lancarter Posts: 6

    The information regarding the raffle was discussed in an online forum called Centextalk.com. A member attended Eneli's raffle and discussed the events of the Kick Off and it spurred into a long discussion at which point the raffle was discussed. The forum member witnessed hearing an announcement indicating that tickets were being sold for $5. I specifically shared all of this with Mrs. Eneli in a conversation as well as informing her via email that I contacted the Killeen Daily Herald about the allegation. Facebook pictures of the raffle advertising was also posted on Centextalk.com which was emailed to the District Attorney's Office as well as the Killeen Daily Herald. The article failed to mention that the Killeen Daily Herald had been contacted by concerned community members weeks ago, but failed to contact those people until recently. The article also failed to mention that I was not the only person to report the allegation to the District Attorney's Office.