The State Ethics Commission decided to fine two political appointees for not submitting their required financial disclosure form and let 24 others who missed the deadline avoid the penalty.
Debbie Riley Hobbs, a gubernatorial appointee to the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees, filed her Statement of Economic Interest July 29 -- about three months after the April 15 deadline. Daniel Ayscue, a N.C. House appointee to the Housing Partnership, still has not filed his form. Both received $250 fines.
Twenty other officials to boards such as the N.C. Museum of Art, State Personnel Commission and Rules Review Commission filed late. And four more still have not submitted a SEI. The ethics commission weighed the circumstances of each case and decided not to fine them at the Friday meeting.
All political appointees to boards and commissions must file the disclosure forms listing assets and financial ties. A year ago, the board fined 10 appointees and recommended four officials be removed for office for not filing their required forms.
Later at the meeting, the commission weighed how to handle complaints about violations of the state lobbying law. The oversight authority is split between the commission and the secretary of state's office after a recent state court ruling, said Perry Newson, the executive director.
In a back-and-forth discussion, the ethics commission voted not to accept anonymous complaints, even though the secretary of state's office does accept them. The commission argued that it is following the same model on ethics complaints, which requires complainants to disclose their names. Further rules are still being drafted.