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Expense reports raise question in Norman's mayoral race

A Norman councilman says his consulting work for a mayoral candidate is not a violation of the city's ethics ordinance.
by Jane Glenn Cannon Modified: March 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm •  Published: March 26, 2013
/articleid/3771527/1/pictures/1993588">Photo - Cindy Rosenthal
Cindy Rosenthal

Payments listed

Sherman's campaign expenditure report shows $3,750 paid to Kovach, personally, and an additional $3,750 paid to AIC Consulting, a company co-owned by Kovach and former council members Bob Thompson and Hal Ezzell. Sherman also paid $2,500 in consulting fees to Ranch Camp, a company in which Kovach is in partnership with David W. “Will” Weir.

“It's obviously common knowledge that I am working for Tom Sherman. The same address — my address — is listed for all three expenditures. I helped write the ethics ordinance, and that's one reason I felt it needed to be rewritten. The idea is not to use your office to endorse or oppose anyone, but what you do in your personal life is different,” Kovach said.

Kovach said he told the mayor “up front” before the campaign began that he would be a consultant for Sherman.

City Attorney Bryant said, “Sometimes what is legal is not necessarily politically expedient.”

If asked, Bryant said, “we would look into it. So far no one has asked us to do anything. I suspect after the election on Tuesday it will become a moot point.”

Also in the reports

According to the campaign contribution and expenditure reports, Rosenthal has received contributions totaling $89,859. She lists expenditures at $99,673, including consulting fees to Red Dirt Strategies. Sherman lists $57,985 in contributions and $40,892 in expenditures.

Kempf lists a loan to himself of $180, and expenditures totaling $205.

by Jane Glenn Cannon
Senior Reporter
A native of Oklahoma, Jane Glenn Cannon is an award-winning reporter who has covered everything from crime, courts and government to entertainment and features. She wrote a popular personal column for many years. She is a former associate writer...
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