The Georgia ethics commission voted unanimously Thursday to move forward with charges against a former state House candidate from Douglasville for not reporting thousands in campaign contributions.
Angela Mayfield, a Democrat, lost the House District 67 race in November by 24 points to incumbent Republican state Rep. Micah Gravley, R-Douglasville.
Mayfield is accused of not filing documents required by the Georgia Campaign Finance Act that show the source and amount of campaign donations, how the money was spent, and other information, ethics commission attorney Joe Cusack said.
Mayfield did not attend Thursday’s hearing, and Cusack told the commission members all attempts to contact Mayfield including a subpoena for her bank records have been “ignored.”
Cusack said an investigation found Mayfield might have raised $100,000 or more in donations that she did not report to the state.
“This is to me just offensive,” said David Emadi, executive secretary of the ethics commission. “I mean this is potentially a $100,000 state House campaign that thumbs its nose at laws it acknowledged.”
Emadi said as a result of Thursday’s vote the ethics commission will now file formal charges with the State Administrative Court for a full bench trial.
During the 15 minute hearing, Cusack told the commission Mayfield didn’t file a Personal Financial Disclosure (PFD) showing her employment, business interests and dealings, and other financial information required by law to be displayed to the public.
Cusack said Mayfield also didn’t file five Campaign Contribution Disclosure Reports (CCDRs) in 2020 that show who donated to her campaign, how much was contributed, and how the money was spent. The CCDRs in 2020 Mayfield didn’t file as required, Cusack said, were for the Jan. 31, April 30, June 30, Sept. 30 and Oct. 25 reporting periods.
Cusack said Mayfield has filed only one CCDR since declaring her intent to run for office. That CCDR filing came in July of 2019.
Cusack played two TV commercials by Mayfield’s campaign, which he said cost $37,000 to air in the west Georgia area last fall.
He also showed an Oct. 7, 2020, post to Twitter by Mayfield that reads in part, “Today is campaign financial disclosure day, where everybody puts their cards on the table and shows how much money they have and where they got it.”
“This is showing that she knew she had to file, but yet didn’t,” Cusack said.
Cusack showed another Twitter post by Mayfield where she said 7,000 people had donated to her campaign.
“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but it is possible,” Cusack said.
Cusack told commission members Mayfield’s campaign had done internal polling and targeted Facebook ads, expenditures he noted are expensive and, like the TV ads, were not reported.
Emadi said one donor copied the ethics commission on an email to Mayfield where the person “demanded her contribution back.” Emadi said Mayfield responded to the donor and eventually returned the contribution.
“So the extent of our communication with her has been when donors have complained and (dragged) us into it,” Emadi said.
Cusack concluded by telling the commission members, “This is not sort of the run of the mill case we deal with. This is sort of on the extreme extent of not filing and then spending a ton of money.”