Posted: 5:45 p.m. Thursday, July 3, 2014

Volusia taxpayers to spend $50K more in Waverly campaign contribution investigation

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. —

Volusia County taxpayers are about to spend $50,000 more on an investigation into whether some candidates knowingly received illegal campaign contributions.

An investigator was hired by the county to look into Waverly Media's donations, but Channel 9's Lori Brown learned the county has already spent $100,000 on the probe, so she asked why that wasn’t enough.

The independent investigator, Jon Kaney, said it's because of a countersuit filed by county chair candidate Ted Doran.

Doran and three others are dragging out the costly investigation by refusing to testify in the investigation that they say is illegal.

"Why not tell the voters where you got the money you spent trying to get them to elect you to the county council?" said Kaney. "What's the big secret? Is there something wrong with what you did?"

While Doran is refusing to testify under oath before the county-appointed investigator, he was happy to sit down with Channel 9.

"If you're in the clear, why don't you just talk?" asked Brown.

"I absolutely offered that," said Doran. "But I am not coming under a subpoena, under oath in front of someone who has unbridled discretion to ask anything they want pursuant to an invalid illegal ordinance."

"If you have nothing to hide, why not do that?" asked Brown.

"Because, in my view, I don't have to. The question should be in reverse. If all they want is the information, why don't they just talk to me?"

The County Council hired Kaney to investigate whether the County Council candidates knew they were receiving illegal campaign contributions from Waverly Media, something the state attorney is also investigating.

A key figure in the case was Jim Brown, who admitted to making campaign contributions in the form of bus bench ads that exceeded the legal limit.

Jim Brown did it by using the names of people who had no idea their names were being used, according to Lori Brown.

Jim Brown attorney said he died after an eight-week battle with cancer.

Kaney said it will not affect the investigation.

A judge is set to decide if Doran and the others fighting the subpoena will be forced to testify Aug. 15.

More News

 
Featured Articles
 
Download Channel 9's News and Weather apps

Download Channel 9's News & Weather apps

Channel 9 Eyewitness News has produced the most accurate local news and weather technology available, our digital News and Weather apps.