Over a month ago, the Colorado Times Recorder first reported that Walker Stapleton appeared to have left Jenna Stapleton’s $30,000 salary off his personal financial disclosure (PFD) form, even though candidates like Stapleton are required by law to disclose any income generated by their “spouse.”
Stapleton didn’t respond to my request to explain the lapse, but yesterday Stapleton’s campaign manager Michael Fortney told ColoradoPolitics’ Joey Bunch:
Fortney: “When this was pointed out to us, our campaign updated the necessary paperwork within the rules.”
It actually took Stapleton’s campaign over two weeks to update the disclosure form. See it here.
I pointed out the apparent breach of Colorado law on June 6, and Stapleton’s campaign didn’t fix the problem until June 22, the day after the Colorado Times Recorder filed an official complaint about Stapleton’s disclosure stumble, as part of an explanation of the SOS’ new rules for enforcing campaign finance laws.
Stapleton filed a new personal financial disclosure form listing the Harmes C. Fishback Foundation as a “source of income” with “Jennifer Stapleton,” who’s its executive director, being the “recipient.” The Fishback Foundation is Stapleton’s family’s $1.4 million foundation.
Jennifer Stapleton is now also disclosed on Stapleton’s list of “all offices, directorships, and fiduciary relationships held by you, your spouse, or minor child(ren) living with you.”
Fortney told Bunch that Stapleton did not break any laws because he did not “willfully” leave Jenna Stapleton’s income off the disclosure form and corrected the mistake within 30 days.
Secretary of State Wayne Williams’ office declined to weigh in on the matter, informing me in a July 3 dismissal of my complaint that the district attorney would be responsible for enforcing any crimes broken by Stapleton under Colorado’s Public Disclosure law.
Stapleton has yet to respond to my request for an explanation of why Jenna Stapleton was omitted from his disclosure forms, going back at least as far as 2012. Was his lawyer responsible fro the lapse? Fortney? Was Stapleton not aware of his wife’s 30K? If this wasn’t willful, then what happened?