BOONVILLE – Boonville City Attorney Brad Wooldridge has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the Missouri Ethics Commission referencing complaints it received regarding conflicts of interest and campaign finance law.
The commission investigated the claims submitted earlier this year and concluded that Wooldridge acted within the law.
“The Missouri Ethics Commission considered the complaint filed against you at its July 14, 2017 meeting. The complaint alleges that you failed to register and file reports with MEC for your write-in campaign for Boonville City Attorney in the April 2017 election. The complaint also alleges you violated a local ordinance, Ordinance 4440, by representing defendants in criminal cases while also serving as City Attorney,” according to a letter sent to Wooldridge from the commission. “Campaign Finance - Chapter 130, RSMo Staff reviewed the allegation that Mr. Wooldridge failed to register a candidate committee and file campaign finance reports with the Commission. Section 130.016.6, RSMo, provides that a candidate for certain offices, including ‘for county office or municipal office in a city of one hundred thousand or less ...' is not required to file an exemption statement in order to avoid the requirement of forming a committee and filing disclosure reports with the Commission. So long as the aggregate of contributions received and expenditures made do not exceed $1,000 and the aggregate from a single contributor does not exceed $325. If any candidate described in Sec. 130.016.6 exceeds the $1,000 limit or $325 limit for a single contributor, the candidate is required to form a committee. (Sec. 130.016.7, RSMo).”
The commission found that Wooldridge purchased campaign materials with his own funds, with total expenditures equaling $963.25.
“As a result, you were not required to form and register a committee with the commission nor file campaign finance reports,” the commission stated in the letter.
In addition, the commission discussed the conflicts of interest ordinance the Boonville City Council passed in April.
“Local Ordinance 4440 Ordinance 4440, Section 2-73, provides in part - “During the term of office for which he has been elected, the city attorney is prohibited from representing any party other than the city of Boonville, the state of Missouri, or any of its political subdivisions in any criminal proceeding or municipal ordinance violation case or proceeding in the 18th Judicial Circuit,” the letter stated.
Once the ordinance was passed Wooldridge declared a conflict of interest in his city cases. A complaint was filed with the commission stating that Wooldridge did not have to declare a conflict in every case.
“Based on Staff follow-up, you confirmed that you had resolved all criminal defense cases and had not taken on any new cases since the city council’s passage of the Ordinance. From the facts presented, the commission finds no reasonable grounds exist to support a violation of Chapter 130, RSMo, nor violation of local ordinances and is dismissing the complaint,” the letter stated.