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Wright McLeod cleared of complaints filed by 2012 rival

Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 5:16 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 1:58 AM
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Wright McLeod, an Evans lawyer who lost a 2012 Republican primary for Georgia’s 12th Congressional District, has been cleared of allegations about discrepancies in his campaign financial disclosures.

Wright McLeod, an Evans lawyer who lost a 2012 Republican primary for Georgia's 12th Congressional District, has been cleared of allegations about discrepancies in his campaign financial disclosures.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
Wright McLeod, an Evans lawyer who lost a 2012 Republican primary for Georgia's 12th Congressional District, has been cleared of allegations about discrepancies in his campaign financial disclosures.

The Federal Election Commission dismissed the complaints filed by Republican rival Rick Allen, an Augusta businessman who placed second in the GOP primary runoff for the congressional seat.

In a letter to McLeod’s attorney dated Sept. 19, the FEC said it found “no reason to believe with respect to certain allegations, dismissed the remaining allegations and closed the file.”

Before the primary, Allen filed a complaint about McLeod’s campaign disclosures, and McLeod amended them at the FEC’s request.

In the amended report, several payments previously labeled “payroll” were itemized as payments to political consulting firms, a communications director, an attorney and campaign staffers.

McLeod was in violation of reporting procedures, but because of the amendments, the FEC “exercised prosecutorial discretion and dismissed the allegation,” according to an FEC legal analysis.

Allen’s complaint also said McLeod’s campaign illegally took names and addresses from Allen’s finance reports and used them for fundraising letters; underreported the fair rental value of office space that four people donated to the campaign; and inadequately described outlays for office supplies and other items.

The FEC report found no reason to believe the Mc­Leod campaign solicited donors with information from Allen’s reports or received excessive in-kind contributions for rented office space used as a campaign headquarters.

McLeod came up a few hundred votes short of beating Allen, who lost to Lee An­derson in the runoff. An­der­son lost in the general election to Democratic Rep. John Barrow.

In a news release Monday, McLeod said: “Justice prevailed. This was an unnecessary and expensive legal fight in which the ethical allegations crossed the line, even by today’s standards.”

McLeod said he was forced to focus his campaign on defending his character instead of debating issues.

In an e-mailed statement, Al­len said the FEC ruling puts an end to the issue.

“I’m glad that both Wright and I can now put the 2012 campaign completely behind us and look forward to beating John Barrow next November,” he said.

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ChipLake
8
Points
ChipLake 09/23/13 - 07:02 pm
2
4

Question for Wright McLeod

Will you release the 14 page “Factual and Legal Analysis” issued by the FEC or just the one page summary? The 14 page document from the FEC uses the term “prosecutorial discretion” six (6) times referring to the McLeod allegations. My Translation of the 14 page document: You lost, this complaint is almost 2 years old, you aren’t running again, and we (FEC) want to get this past us because we (FEC) have much bigger fish to fry as opposed to moving forward with any type of sanction against a candidate that came in third place in a four way primary almost two years ago. Wright’s release today says that the FEC dismissed the final 3 charges due to “insignificance.” The official language used in the dismissal was “prosecutorial discretion.” It should also be noted that Wright McLeod was smart to retain the services of Stefan Passantino to help him navigate this process. Stefan is one of the best in the business and did a great job of cleaning up Wright McLeod’s mess! However, there is a reason it took two years to resolve.

Riverman1
70943
Points
Riverman1 09/24/13 - 03:37 am
4
3

Rick Allen did himself no favors

Rick Allen did himself no favors going after another Republican. I doubt McLeod's supporters will forget. Having said that, I hope Allen beats Democrat John Barrow.

Riverman1
70943
Points
Riverman1 09/24/13 - 03:51 am
5
0

Chip Lake

Realize Chip Lake is an Atlanta paid consultant who worked for Rick Allen. He also worked for TSPLOST statewide. I’d take anything he says with caution. He certainly isn’t doing Allen any favors by continuing the rancor with McLeod and his supporters. It’s over and Lake would help Allen most by moving on to get money in some other election. I certainly hope Rick Allen is not employing a TSPLOST supporter for this election.

soapy_725
43306
Points
soapy_725 09/24/13 - 05:07 am
0
0

Family values, like faith, are not required for public service

Unpublished

Family values, like faith, are not required for public service

southern2
4261
Points
southern2 09/24/13 - 07:38 am
1
1

Congrats to Wright! Reminded

Congrats to Wright! Reminded of all of the many disappointments of the 2012 elections. Hope 2014 turns out differently.

moderate321
247
Points
moderate321 09/24/13 - 07:57 am
3
0

Chip Lake

Riverman is exactly correct about Mr. Lake. He is a paid consultant and was reason behind the negative campaign that eventually lost the election to John Barrow.

Mr. Lake, while Mr. McLeod did come in third in a 4 way race, your candidate came in second in a run off to a person who could not (or was not allowed) to speak in public.

Little Lamb
40301
Points
Little Lamb 09/24/13 - 08:02 am
2
0

Speak in Public

Well, Anderson's electoral success while being unable to articulate says more about the electorate than about Allen.

AllieCat13
7
Points
AllieCat13 09/24/13 - 09:45 am
2
1

Chip, Stop making excuses and

Chip, Stop making excuses and admit your defeat. Also, your math seems to be a little off. The complaint dates to little over a year ago. Shouldn't you be focusing your efforts on Phil Gingery's campaign rather than attacking a man who lost in a 2012 Congressional primary? Let it go!

Valkyrie1
315
Points
Valkyrie1 09/24/13 - 10:58 am
0
0

Not so much cleared

as decided it wasn't worth the continued battle. He DID falsify the documents, he just ammended them when he was caught. Not surprising from him at all.

416
Points
Lakeside95 09/24/13 - 04:43 pm
0
0

Really?

Unfounded accusations made anonymously are easy to hear but almost impossible to fight.

Who ever said that the FEC won't bother investigating a losing candidate must have forgotten about Sarah Palin.

As a consultant who has worked 2 election cycles in the 12th, I know this district. Allen couldn't put boots on the ground and Lee fit this district, boots or not.

For example: When your candidate walks into a room, interrupts to share he just off the tractor and then shows off his boots with price tag still attached...the average voter calls that lying.

As far as fiscal malfeasance goes...Allen is questionable. Think of all the city/contracts his company has...

FYI- I didn't vote for either candidate.
Its awfully silly for a consultant like Chip Lake to argue the point...unless there is something else to hide.

ChipLake
8
Points
ChipLake 09/24/13 - 07:55 pm
0
0

Where is Wright? Did he disappear?

I hear a lot of chatter from Wright's anonymous minions, but all i hear from Wright McLeod: Crickets????

ChipLake
8
Points
ChipLake 09/24/13 - 07:58 pm
0
0

Hmmmmm?

Did Sarah Palin not run for President, lakeside95? If you have worked 2 races in the 12th why not identify yourself when you post?

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