Senator Faces Campaign Spending Complaint - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Capitol Hill Corruption

Senator Faces Campaign Spending Complaint

Sen. Jerry Cooper Sen. Jerry Cooper

State Sen. Jerry Cooper now faces a complaint over tens of thousands of dollars that he may have pocketed from his campaign accounts.

"NewsChannel 5 Investigates" recently obtained that evidence against the Warren County Democrat.

The evidence -- filed as part of a federal trial where Cooper was acquitted of bank fraud -- comes in the form of checks and deposits slips that show the transfer of $95,000 into his personal accounts. (View the evidence first posted by NewsChannel 5.)

But state regulators at the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance refused to take any action, saying they would wait to see if anyone wanted to make an official complaint against Cooper.

Friday, a state public-interest group did just that.

Drew Johnson of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research filed a formal complaint with the Registry.

"It certainly says that he doesn't have much respect for the public trust," Johnson said.

"These are people who thought enough of him as a person, as a candidate to give their own money -- their hard-earned money -- so that he could be re-elected. And he violated that trust."

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