Rep. Bob Herron Cited for Ethics Violations

Friday, December 06 2013

Representative Bob Herron is being cited for ethics violations, dating back to when he was first elected to the Legislature in 2009.

The House ethics committee found that Herron knowingly withheld "sufficient detail" on his business ventures with another legislator -- senator Lyman Hoffman.

Herron and Hoffman both represent western Alaska, and they co-own a school bus company in the Bethel area. Golden Eagle Unlimited has a $930,000 contract with the Lower Kuskokwim School District to transport students.

According to ethics law, any time a legislator has a contract with the state that's worth more than $5,000, they have to report it. The school district is considered a unit of the state.

The ethics board ruled that Herron knowingly left the contract out of his financial disclosures. The Senate ethics committee made a similar ruling on Herron's business partner, Sen. Lyman Hoffman, in November.

The House ethics board spent the past year digging through Herron's financial filings and conducting interviews. They found that Herron also failed to report the seats he held on the boards of corporations since he was elected. But the committee did dismiss two other complaints against him.

Herron was in Unalaska this week to attend a community event and hold a public listening session at his legislative office. He declined to comment on the ethics violations. But he did hand off a written statement to KUCB.

It reads, "I have never knowingly filed a false, misleading or incomplete disclosure statement."

It went on to say that Herron will comply with the corrective actions the committee laid out and follow the filing requirements.

There is no fine attached to the House committee's decision, but Herron is being fined about $7,500 by the Alaska Public Offices Commission.

The House committee has levied a $5,000 fine against Herron. The Alaska Public Offices Commission has also levied a fine against Herron of about $7,500.

Read the ethics committee's report here.

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