Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Councilman Hedgepeth Filed Timely Reports

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 12:06 PM

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The Shelby County Election Commission has revised its handling of political candidate reports after an office lapse led to an inaccurate report about Memphis City Councilman Reid Hedgepeth.

In a blog post last week, I reported that Hedgepeth had not filed his second quarter financial report prior to the July 11th deadline. Hedgepeth sent his report by certified mail on July 7th and it arrived in the office on July 11th at 5:40 p.m., but this was not noted by the election commission on its website until July 18th.

"It's a matter of an internal process that we needed to improve and have improved," said elections administrator Richard Holden on Tuesday. "We apologize both to the Flyer and to Reid."

On July 12th I visited the Election Commission office and filled out a written request to see all of the council members' files. The files for Hedgepeth and Myron Lowery, were missing the second-quarter reports. To allow for possible slow processing, I waited three days and checked again in person and by telephone. The reports were still missing and I notified Hedgepeth and Lowery. In a follow-up call, a clerk said Lowery filed Friday morning but Hedgepeth had not filed.

On Monday, Hedgepeth's campaign treasurer notified me of the error, which I relayed to Holden.

The Flyer and other news organizations rely on government agencies to produce timely and accurate reports. In this case that did not happen. I regret that and apologize to Hedgepeth.

Here is a listing of the council candidates and their financial reports.

Bill Boyd: $1,428.
Joe Brown: $4,163.
Kemp Conrad: $71,260, $38,633 in loans.
Harold Collins: $25,421.
Shea Flinn: $164, $170,000 in loans.
Janice Fullilove: $603, $5,854 in loans and obligations.
Ed Ford Jr.: $11,320, $9,074 in loans.
Wanda Halbert: $0.
Reid Hedgepeth: $54,560, $22,459 in loans.
Myron Lowery: $2,804.
Bill Morrison: $22,257.
Jim Strickland, $90,119, $40,747 in loans.

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