Louisville Metro Council candidate Curtis Morrison has filed a complaint against Mayor Greg Fischer with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
The mayor has been criticized for continuing to raise funds while in office to pay down his personal campaign debt. Local business leaders have complained that funds meant for his inauguration celebration were given to the Fischer campaign instead.
The complaint cites news reports and alleges Fischer’s inauguration committee solicited contributions from donors but deposited those funds in the mayor’s campaign account where they were not used for inauguration expenses.
Morrison is challenging incumbent Councilman Tom Owen, D-8, in the primary election. He says he isn’t sure what specific state law was violated, but the complaint covers the entire book of election finance rules.
“I have not found the exact KRS rule that it violates, but obviously if he’s saying he’s raising money for one thing and then he’s putting it in his pocket, I mean if there’s not a KRS for that we need one,” he says.
A spokesperson for the state election finance agency was unavailable for comment.
The state agency has given the mayor and the chair of his inauguration committee two weeks to respond to the complaint.
“We have received the complaint and look forward to responding,” says Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter.
According to state records, Fischer has raised approximately $46,000 since taking office and withdrew $40,000 for himself to pay down off his loans.
Morrison says Fischer’s actions compromise the integrity of Metro Government.
“I think it makes us a pay for play community where businesses get what they want if they just write a check to the mayor. It’s totally not cool,” he says. “Maybe he’s not bending over backwards, but maybe he’s not being as aggressive as he could be to fight for the interests of our city. Maybe he’s backing down.”