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Rutherford County man asks state to audit more of Mayor Bill Ketron's campaign accounts

Bill Ketron
Posted at 4:50 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:15:59-04

NASHVILLE, Tn. (WTVF) — A Rutherford County man is asking state election and campaign finance regulators to take a deeper look at the financial records of Rutherford County mayor Bill Ketron, urging, "Please get to the bottom of all this right away so taxpayers know what the truth is here."

Joe Liggett filed two complaints with the Tennessee Registry of Election Finance on Tuesday requesting full audits of Ketron's Senate campaign funds from 2016-2018 and Ketron's Quest political action committee campaign funds from that same time period.

State auditors previously audited Ketron's accounts from 2018 and 2019 and found more than $223,000 in funds that were spent but unaccounted for. Ketron's attorney later told the Registry that documentation for that spending just simply did not exist.

Liggett wrote in his complaints, "Why can't the taxpayers get anybody to give accounting of where this money went? Will the registry please audit a few more years to explain to people where this missing money was used?"

He continued, "People are very mad and wants (sic) answers."

In April, the Registry voted to fine Ketron $135,000 for more than 470 campaign violations that were discovered during state audits of his Senate and Quest campaign accounts as well as his more recent campaign account for Rutherford County mayor. Ketron faced up to $4.7-million in fines, but the Registry instead opted to allow Ketron to pay much less on an approved payment plan, while dismissing $80,000 in penalties the Registry had previously assessed Ketron for failing to turn in campaign spending reports on time.

Liggett wrote in his complaint cover letters, "In my opinion, the Registry has not appeared very interested the past few years in getting answers for the people. It seems like from your April meeting that the Registry is trying to help Bill Ketron more than getting answers."

He went on to say, "What has been done by the Registry isn't right and you need to make it right."