May 8, 2019
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday that two former political candidates are charged with crimes for refusing to file personal financial statements with the Texas Ethics Commission.
“People expect a great deal from their elected leaders, and candidates’ refusal to file simple financial disclosures is a slap in the face to voters,” Ogg said. “This prevents the transparency the public deserves.”
Sam Tejas was a Democratic candidate for Texas State House District 133 in 2018. He was unsuccessful in the March 2018 primary.
Aaron D. Close was a Libertarian candidate for Texas State House District 149 in 2018. He was unsuccessful in the November 2018 general election.
The Texas Ethics Commission required the candidates to file personal financial disclosures by Feb.12, 2018, and had repeatedly sought to get them to do so after they missed the deadline.
“The public must have faith that government officials will put the public interest before their own personal financial gain,” said Assistant District Attorney Stuart Tallichet of the Public Corruption Division. “Win or lose, candidates must disclose their financial dealings to the Texas Ethics Commission.”
Failure to File a Financial Statement is a Class B Misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and 180 days in jail, or both.