Questions mount about Rep. Rick Staples’ campaign spending

On the heels of news last week that Democratic Rep. Rick Staples has been evicted from his Knoxville home, questions are being raised about thousands of dollars the lawmaker spent out of his campaign account.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel and Cari Gervin’s Dog and Pony Show blog, Staples spent $1,200 at a local restaurant just before his wedding last year, and on a rental car, hotel stays, and air travel coinciding with his honeymoon.

Staples’ treasurer, Wes Knott, told the Knox News, he resigned before the lawmaker’s most recent campaign finance report was made, saying: “I just didn’t feel comfortable being treasurer anymore.”

The Tennessee Registry of Campaign Finance has sent a letter to Staples asking him to clarify several expenditures.

Five days after returning from his honeymoon, Staples was evicted from his home for failing to pay $8,875 in rent. Gervin writes on her blog that Staples’ former home was at 1970 Locarno Drive, a property owned by Lawrence Thompson. Staples’ campaign disclosures say he gave what he deemed to be “donations” of $350 and $950 to a Larry Thompson of 1968 Locarno Drive.

Staples said his eviction was related to a dispute over “fungus” in the home. He told the Knox News he is currently living outside of House District 15 because of trouble finding a home accessible by his disabled son.

“This process has taken much longer than I anticipated and, while frustrating, has made me more aware and sensitive of the needs of my constituents with disabilities in all aspects of accessing public services and private establishments,” Staples told the paper.

As for legal action taken by his former landlord, Staples calls that a politically-motivated “character assassination.”

Staples resigned from his leadership position within the House Democratic Caucus last year after he was found to have violated the General Assembly’s sexual harassment policy.

12 Responses to Questions mount about Rep. Rick Staples’ campaign spending

  • John says:

    A Democrat with a financial scandal is in as bad a shape as a Republican with a perverted sex scandal. Just ask Casada. Staples is a goner if the Democratic Party has any ethical standards left.

  • Phil Lassiter says:

    Is this Richie is Democrat still sexually harassing citizens in his office that come on official business and screwing his 22 year old secretary?

  • James White says:

    They police their own. Nothing to see here.

  • Beatrice Shaw says:

    Innocent until proven guilty, folks

  • Perry Aubric says:

    He needs to resign

    • Beatrice Shaw says:

      why should he resign over allegations when you have republicans snorting coke and having sex in public restrooms and exchanging texts about it…blah blah the capital seems to be dangerous for females and people who aren’t heterosexual

      • Perry Aubric says:

        Beatrice, I have always despised “well, what about…?” arguments, because they are so circular. I am a Democrat. But if every Republican in America was dishonest and abusing funds in this way, if every Republican was doing what Casada and company were doing, if every Republican was outright stealing from the public funds, that still doesn’t somehow excuse wrongdoing by this guy.

        So damn what if someone else is doing wrong? Does that excuse Staples? I don’t think so. We can talk about Casada and his goons if you like. But that’s not what this thread is about. This thread is about Rick Staples and his wrongdoing. That “innocent until proven guilty” is a fine legal standard for criminal charges. It hasn’t got one damn thing to do with making a political judgment about this clown. He can be replaced with someone else from his district, who will almost certainly be another Democrat, who will almost certainly be more ethical. Just as Casada was replaced as speaker by another conservative Republican.

        These “well, what about…” arguments are so damn stupid.

  • Misty Pardner says:

    It appears the fungus has been removed from the residence. Now from the House.

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  • Concerned citizen says:

    It’s all Government…Politics…And publicity…that man has brought up issues and addressed them properly..why does it take a snitch or a jealous lying tongue to try and shut down a man of his string abilities to bring change to this world. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. The color of someone’s skin make a big difference in this world like it always has been. Stop judging by color and applaud them for their making a change for the better. No one gives him credit for his success….and his personal lifestyle has no bearing on either of us. So What…it’s only News and maybe if you look deeper into who has always had the upper hand sitting in a chair to make things possible. Well now that this man has done his job well, you think he should be exposed …oh well. He has made CHANGE in this City/State..

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