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How it works: MEC complaint system

ST. LOUIS — Missouri politicos and journalists are no stranger to the Missouri Ethics Commission and the finance-related services it provides. Another service that doesn’t gain as much attention, namely because so much of it happens behind closed doors, is its complaint filing option.

The Missouri Times had Stacey Heislen, the acting MEC Executive Director, fill us in on how the process worked.

She said the most common type of complaints included reporting and filing issues on finance reports.

“Either they didn’t report all finances that went through the bank account or didn’t obtain all of the information that’s required when you receive a contribution — things like that,” Heislen said.

About 200 to 250 complaints are received every year, she said, saying election years in particular yield an increase because of the number of finance filers and literature that’s put out for candidates and ballot measures.

During an election period, however, the process changes slightly because the turn around needs to be quicker in case actions need to be taken by the MEC that would stop a campaign or measure. Because of the necessary quick turn around, there also are some complaint topics the MEC won’t take during that period.

Aside from that window, the MEC goes by the following procedure to handle all complaints brought to their office:

Click to enlarge