SMITH COUNTY - Smith County Sheriff, J.B. Smith has been fined by the Texas Ethics Commission for numerous, alleged violations relating to campaign finance reporting requirements.
The fine is set at $1,600. The commission met on April 21, 2011, to consider sworn complaint on the matter and determined there was credible evidence of violations.
The complaint alleged that the respondent did not properly disclose political contributions, political expenditures and outstanding loans on multiple campaign finance reports. It also says Sheriff Smith improperly reported political expenditures as reimbursements, did not timely file a January 2009 semiannual campaign finance report and converted political contributions to personal use among other alleged violations.
Responding to the investigation and fine by the Texas Ethics Commission, Sheriff Smith told KLTV 7 Thursday afternoon that he made a mistake.
"They're doing exactly what they're supposed to be doing," Smith said. "I have no complaints. These minor infractions were my fault, and my fault only."
Smith said in this case, he reported certain finances on the wrong forms. He said they're the same forms he's filled out during his entire career in public office, but this time, he did it wrong.
"There are different forms for expenditures," Smith said. "One of them was I reimbursed a campaign worker for gasoline for putting out signs for me. I didn't put it on the right form. I logged it, but it was on an improper form, and I was unaware of that."
Smith told KLTV 7 that he knows who made the complaint to the Texas Ethics Commission, but would only identify them as "a political opponent here in Tyler."