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MEC closes Ian Mackey fundraising complaint

A campaign finance complaint lodged against Rep. Ian Mackey was closed by the Missouri Ethics Commission (MEC) without any disciplinary action earlier this month. 

Mackey, a Democrat who represents part of St. Louis County, was accused by the conservative Liberty Alliance last year of violating state law when he posted a Facebook photo of him in the Capitol along with an Act Blue fundraising link for the Missouri House Democrats. In its complaint to the MEC, Liberty Alliance alleged the April 2020 post was made from Mackey’s Capitol office “while he was present on official business.” 

In July 2020, the MEC “found reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of criminal law had occurred as alleged in the complaint” and referred it to the Cole County prosecutor. The allegation was presented before a grand jury that chose not to indict. 

“It is the decision of the office that upon a full and fair presentation of the evidence, it is unlikely twelve jurors could be persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt upon the guilt of Mr. Mackey,” Scott Fox, the assistant prosecuting attorney, said in a May 4 letter to the MEC. 

The MEC said it is taking no further action on the complaint after reviewing it during its May 19 meeting. 

“It is a sad day for the rule of law. Nobody is denying that Rep. Mackey illegally fundraised on taxpayer-funded property, and it is a complete miscarriage of justice that he is not facing punishment for his crime,” Chris Vas, Liberty Alliance’s executive director, told The Missouri Times. “We applaud the diligent work of the MEC and the Cole County prosecutor, and we will continue fighting to protect Missourians from politicians who choose to waste and abuse their tax dollars.” 

Missouri’s constitution prohibits members of the General Assembly from political fundraising “in or on any premises, property or building owned, leased or controlled by the State of Missouri or any agency thereof.” 

The Liberty Alliance complaint requested the MEC investigate the post, determine the number of contributions garnered from it, and fine Mackey up to three times that amount plus $1,000 — the punishment laid out in the constitution. 

Mackey did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Last year, the MEC dismissed a complaint from the Missouri Democratic Party alleging Liberty Alliance was acting as a political action committee.