Murphy campaign files ethics complaint

Published 8:33 am Wednesday, November 11, 2015

State Senate District 12 Democratic candidate Mickey Murphy announced Monday that he has filed a formal ethics complaint against Republican candidate Beth Mizell and the Louisiana Republican Party.

Murphy’s campaign argues that Mizell and the Republican Party have been coordinating PAC (political action committee) donations by using state employees and resources.

In a press release from the campaign, Murphy said that he received phone calls at his home on Wednesday, Oct. 28, from a state employee working for the Louisiana Republican Legislative Delegation.

Murphy said that the state employee left another message asking “Beth” to call her because she had a “PAC check” for her. He also said that the state employee left, as a call back number, her official government number and official state mail address.

Murphy said the caller was obviously trying to reach Mizell, and not Murphy. Murphy filed an ethics complaint with the Ethics Board on Monday morning, making the argument that state law prohibits public servants from using government resources for political campaign activity.

“The people entrust the state to use their hard-earned tax dollars to run essential state services, not to engage in partisan political activities during an election cycle,” Murphy said, in the release. “When I go to Baton Rouge as the senator for District 12, I’ll make sure that our state employees are using our tax dollars for the benefit of the people, not PACs and politicians.”

Mizell said that Murphy is inaccurate by trying to tie the alleged ethics violation to her campaign.

“The call was between the woman and Mr. Murphy,” she said. “It had nothing to do with me. It was referring to a donation from the Republican Legislative Committee, which is legal. I accepted it, and reported it.

“Mr. Murphy, my counterpart, receives a similar check from the Democratic Legislative Committee. I don’t understand how there is any problem at all.

“I have no control over who calls who. She wasn’t returning my call, she was calling him, looking for me.”

Mizell also stated that Murphy was violating ethics rules by prematurely making the complaint public.

“I just want to say that in publicizing this ethics complaint, Mr. Murphy has violated a statute of the Ethics Board,” she said. “The reason for that statute, is because you can’t make charges and act as if they are legitimate, until the Ethics Board decides they are legitimate.”

Mizell and Murphy are vying to succeed state Sen. Ben Nevers, a Democrat, who is unable to run again because of term limits. The election is Saturday, Nov. 21.