August 25, 2013
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Election filings show a political action committee from Mingo County has returned $3,700 in contributions to the campaigns of four Democrats.
The Charleston Daily Mail reports the Team Mingo 2012 PAC returned the money in early June to political campaigns for Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick, state Sen. Art Kirkendoll, state Treasurer John Perdue and former Sen. Mark Wills.
Republican Party activist and Ohio University sports broadcaster Rob Cornelius had filed a complaint with the secretary of state’s office about the contributions.
Secretary of state spokesman Jake Glance has said campaigns of active candidates cannot make donations to unaffiliated PACs such as Team Mingo PAC.
County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has said the Team Mingo 2012 PAC wasn’t connected with Team Mingo, a group formed to help Democrats get elected in Mingo County.
Election filings show the Team Mingo 2012 PAC returned $1,000 to the Kirkendoll, Perdue and Helmick campaigns and $700 to the Wills campaign. Those campaigns contributed to Team Mingo PAC before the 2012 election.
Helmick, Perdue and Kirkendoll won their elections. Wills lost to Mercer County Republican Bill Cole.
Mingo County 2012 PAC treasurer Greg “Hootie” Smith, a Mingo County commissioner, has said he didn’t know contributions from a candidate’s campaign to an unaffiliated PAC were not allowed.
Election filings also show state Delegate Justin Marcum, D-Mingo, accepted $500 from the Team Mingo 2012 PAC in early January to reimburse him for fireworks, but Marcum returned the money to the PAC in June.