After the publication of the July 15 Skinny item on Jonathan Paton's state Senate campaign reimbursements, the state Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Clean Elections Commission that those former campaign dollars were used as a personal fund.
Paton said he decided to reimburse himself $8,350 in mileage expenses to wrap up his state Senate campaign coffers, since he wasn’t running for re-election. Paton, who is one of four GOP candidates who hopes to face Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in November, resigned his Senate seat on Feb. 22.
The Dems filed the CEC complaint on Monday, July 19. However, on July 26, the commission declined to take action on the complaint, so on July 29 the Dems filed a complaint with the state Secretary of State’s office.
In a letter from Dems’ attorney Rhonda Barnes to state elections director Amy Bjelland, Barnes wrote that Paton “had a surplus of over $12,000 when he announced he was running for Congress. But rather than disposing of the money in compliance (with the state law) … (his) campaign wrote him a few checks totaling $8,350 for ‘travel reimbursement,’ which accounted for 94 percent of his expenditures in the latest reporting cycle.”
When asked to provide mileage documentation, Paton spokesperson Daniel Scarpinato said that Paton will provide documentation if requested by the SOS.
“The main thing is, we think the complaint itself is bogus,” Scarpinato said. “They are digging for something here and really reaching.”