by Max Brantley
We'd reported earlier that lawyer Scott Troutt had filed a complaint over Hutchison's report of use of campaign money for living expenses. Candidates are allowed by law to recoup money up to the amount of personal income lost from time off work. Hutchison said he took off from a $500-a-week job on his brother-in-law's farm to campaign.
The Ethics Commission apparently found that Hutchison ran afoul of the law that law prohibits use of campaign money for personal expenses. The statute defines personal expenses as including "Morgage, Rent and Utility Payments — This includes any payments with respect to a personal residence of the candidate of his or her family..." Hutchison paid rent for use of his mother's house and for her utility bills. Hutchison was given an offer to settle the case, but declined it and asked for a public hearing. It's set for a meeting of the Ethics Commisson tomorrow morning.
This letter lays out the allegation against Hutchison.