Yarber finance files lacking; fundraiser not included – Jackson Clarion Ledger

8 months ago Comments Off on Yarber finance files lacking; fundraiser not included – Jackson Clarion Ledger

Last week, Mayor Tony Yarber’s spokesperson said there was “nothing unusual” about a 2014 fundraiser that an engineering firm hosted in Houston for the newly elected mayor.

Only Yarber never disclosed any of the contributions he received at that event, according to records produced from the City Clerk’s office.

The last time Yarber filed a campaign finance report was March 27, 2015. It includes contributions made to Yarber in 2014 up until May.

After May, no contributions are listed. He has not filed any campaign contributions for 2015.

Mississippi Code Section 23-15-807 states that elected officials must submit annually “a report covering the calendar year which shall be filed no later than January 31 of the following calendar year.”

A fundraising flyer for Yarber shows Massachusetts-based engineering firm CDM Smith hosted an event in August 2014. The RSVP asks those interested to contact Thessalonian LeBlanc through her Houston-based company, DEMLET.

LeBlanc is the owner of Trilogy Engineering Services, a firm that Yarber’s administration chose in February to conduct a corrosion control study in response to high levels of lead found in some drinking water samples across the city.

Councilmen questioned the qualifications of the company and how the administration settled on the estimated $400,000 figure for the study and, in the end, voted against the contract.

A 2014 email from CDM Vice President Harold Underwood asks an email list of folks — including MAC Construction President Marcus Wallace and businessman Socrates Garrett — to contribute $2,500 to the 2014 Houston fundraiser.

Gibson said Trilogy planned to subcontract work out to MAC Construction, the president of which donated $10,000 to Yarber in April 2014.

While Trilogy part-owner and engineer Phillip Gibson said he has given money to the mayor, neither his name nor his former companies appear on any finance filings from 2013 to today.

Gibson said it’s normal for engineering firms to donate to political campaigns.

The contributions that Yarber has reported include $500 from Metairie, Louisiana’s Engineering & Consulting, $500 from New Orleans’ MSMM Engineering, $5,500 from former Madison County engineer Rudy Warnock, and $1,000 from Moon, Pennsylvannia’s Chester Engineers.

Yarber’s latest filed campaign contributions for 2014, which only include donations in the months April and May, appear below.

Contact Anna Wolfe at (601) 961-7326 or awolfe@gannett.com. Follow @ayewolfe on Twitter.

Yarber finance files lacking; fundraiser not included – Jackson Clarion Ledger}

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