Franks was fined $89,105, but the MEC cut it back to $14,169 to be paid in monthly installments of $250 to the Attorney General’s Office beginning in January. The agreement will be voided if the MEC finds any evidence of additional wrongdoing in a two-year period.
Franks, a Democrat, resigned from the General Assembly at the end of July, citing a need to focus on his family and mental health. He was first elected to the state House in 2016 following the Ferguson protests.
The MEC found Franks made more than two dozen transactions, totaling nearly $2,400, “which appeared to be for personal use.” Those expenditures included payments to an animal hospital, a family portrait studio, and a movie theater. Checks were also written for “cash” or to Franks, according to the MEC.
One transaction made to iTunes on Nov. 13, 2018, was disclosed, the MEC’s order said.
Franks also accepted three cash donations, a total of $1,347, exceeding the $100 limit, in 2016 and 2017. He accepted another three totaling $462 in late 2017 and 2018, the MEC said.
Additionally, the MEC cited Franks and his campaign committee for:
- Failing to report the opening and closing of multiple bank accounts
- Reporting contributions not found in the committee’s bank accounts between February 2016 and October 2018
- Reporting expenditures not found in the committee’s bank accounts between July 2016 and August 2018
- Making 10 cash expenditures, totaling more than $3,450, to campaign workers, lodging, and more — exceeding the $50 limit
- Inaccurately reporting beginning and ending money on hand in more than a dozen reports from 2016 to 2019
- Inaccurately reporting dozens of expenditures and contributions
Franks did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Missouri Times.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is a reporter with The Missouri Times and The Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the newspaper in 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City. Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S. and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa. She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.