The S.C. Ethics Commission has cleared state Attorney General Alan Wilson of allegations that he accepted improper contributions in his 2010 campaign after the Republican refunded more than $40,000 to donors.
The commission dismissed the complaints against Wilson, in part, because of the lack of cooperation from the Wisconsin woman, Krista Thom, who filed the grievances against South Carolina’s top law official.
Wilson’s campaign finances were scrutinized after he started investigating then-House Speaker Bobby Harrell. The Charleston Republican resigned last year after pleading guilty to campaign finance irregularities.
Wilson, who successfully prosecuted the campaign corruption case against former Republican Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, amended his campaign records after finding $134,000 in unreported contributions and expenses in 2013.
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Thom filed her complaints with the state Ethics Commission last March, after news reports about more problems with Wilson’s campaign accounts.
Before his attorney received Thom’s complaints, Wilson, a Lexington Republican, already had refunded $42,500 in contributions to 15 donors who gave more than the $3,500 limit on donations. He also had given back $200 in contributions from a lobbyist, barred by state law from making political donations.
The commission accepted Wilson’s explanations about discrepancies, raised by Thom, in a dozen other donations, including incorrect dates and names for donors.
State Rep. James Smith, a Richland Democrat who is Wilson’s campaign attorney, said Thom’s complaints were frivolous. “She was abusing the Ethics Commission procedures for political purposes.”
Efforts to reach Thom on Wednesday were unsuccessful.