Ethics complaint filed against Burchett over $10K payment received in 2008

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett, now running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, says he will file an amendment to a 2008 financial disclosure statement that has triggered filing of an ethics complaint against him, reports The Tennessean.

Melissa McCoy of Loudon County says she filed the complaint with the Tennessee Ethics Commission because Burchett failed to disclose a $10,000 payment from an electronics company while serving as a state senator. She says Burchett sponsored a bill that would benefit the company at the time he received the payment.

Through a spokesman, Burchett said the $10,000 payment was a “finders fee he received for connecting the company with an investor.”

…”As soon as I was made aware of this oversight, I contacted the state to inquire about amending the filing so that it’s accurate moving forward,” Burchett said.

… While Burchett works to amend his statement of interest, he could still face a fine for the oversight. Last year, for instance, the state Ethics Commission fined former lawmaker Jeremy Durham $30,000 for not fully disclosing his financial investments, which is a violation of state law.

…McCoy’s complaint includes a copy of a federal 1099 tax form given to Burchett by Electronic Magnetic Power Solutions. The electronics company, which lists an Oak Ridge address, paid Burchett $10,000 in 2008, according to the document, which was also posted on Twitter on Tuesday.

… The 2008 payment from EMPS to Burchett came the same year the former Republican lawmaker sponsored a bill that would require all smoke detectors installed after Jan. 1, 2009 to be photo-electric devices, according to the complaint. The measure failed to become law, despite being approved in the House by a 94-3 vote.

… Michael Grider, a spokesman for Burchett’s mayoral office, said EMPS has “nothing to do with” smoke detectors and the legislation in question is unrelated to the company.

David Ball, who is president of EMPS, said the company has never had anything to do with smoke detectors.

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