97°F
weather icon Clear

Clark County commissioner violated campaign finance laws, complaint says

Republican April Becker is accusing her potential 2024 Democratic opponent, Clark County Commissioner Ross Miller, of numerous campaign finance violations, according to a complaint filed with the Nevada secretary of state’s office Wednesday.

Becker, who announced her run for commission Tuesday, alleges in the complaint that Miller received multiple donations over the $10,000 limit, accepted anonymous donations and improperly itemized more than $60,000 in expenses over multiple election cycles.

“Ross Miller is a former Secretary of State, he knows the law,” said Becker, who announced her run for commission Tuesday, in a statement to the Review-Journal. “He blatantly broke it because he doesn’t care and thinks the rules don’t apply to him.”

Miller said in a statement from his campaign that he has been made aware of what he characterized as unintentional errors in the campaign finance reports.

“We have already communicated with the Secretary of State and the campaign will amend the reports as necessary following a detailed review,” he said in the statement.

The complaint alleges that Miller’s campaign received $15,000 in contributions from Clark County Fire Fighters during the 2020 election period. The maximum allowed amount per donor is $10,000 — $5,000 for the primary election and $5,000 for the general election, according to state law.

Miller received two $5,000 donations from “Clark County Fire Fighters,” one in June 2020 and another in October 2020. He also got a $5,000 donation from “Clark County Fire Fighter” in September 2020, his campaign finance reports show. Becker alleges that there is no evidence to show that the excess contributions were returned.

The complaint also alleges Miller received $20,000 in contributions from a political action committee that was listed on his finance reports as “AllAround A Pac” and “All Around A PAC.”

“AllAround A Pac” donated $10,000 in May 2021 and “All Around A PAC” donated $10,000 in June, both of which have the same Eastern Avenue address in Henderson.

Becker claims, however, that the political action committee’s address that is listed through the state is the same address as Miller’s campaign committee. His 2022 annual contributions and expense report matches Becker’s allegations.

It is not unusual to have minor clerical errors in campaign finance reports, said Kenneth Miller, an assistant professor of political science at UNLV who specializes in campaign finance. Sometimes donations can be made at the end of a reporting period and then accidentally reported again at the beginning of another period, he said.

“It looks like several of those (allegations) are just clerical errors, just filing errors,” Kenneth Miller said. “But that needs to be dug through and figured out.”

Becker also alleges Miller received $12,500 in anonymous contributions during the 2024 period from “Unknown.” His 2022 annual contributions and expenses report does show a $2,500 contribution from “Unknown” with an unknown Las Vegas address in January 2021 as well as a $10,000 payment from “Unknown” in March 2021.

Nevada law states that any candidate who receives more than $100 from an anonymous contributor must deliver the money to the state treasurer, who will deposit it in the state’s general fund, or donate the money to a nonprofit within 10 days. Becker claims that there is no evidence to show he gave the money to the state treasurer or donated the money to a nonprofit.

And finally, she alleges that his campaign failed to properly itemize $60,000 in campaign expenses. Becker alleges that Miller reported the name and address of the person who received the payment as their credit card companies only, “leaving the public wholly unable to know the true recipient of the funds, or the true purpose for which the funds were spent,” the complaint alleges.

Miller’s campaign made payments to “Cardmember Servic” and “Bank of America Card Services,” for instance.

Becker hopes to face Miller in the 2024 election. Becker, a real estate attorney, ran for Congress in 2022 but narrowly lost her election against Democratic incumbent Rep. Susie Lee. In 2020, Miller narrowly won his election against now-Lt. Gov. Stavros Anthony, winning by 10 votes plus an additional five after a recount.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST