Ritze Solicitation May Violate Ethics Rules

An attempt to help a fallen House member to pay off campaign debt could also be an Ethics violation. The McCarville Report has learned that Rep. Mike Ritze had his legislative assistant pass out letters at the Capitol asking for donations to pay off Rep. David Brumbaugh’s campaign debt. Brumbaugh passed away suddenly in his Broken Arrow home in April.

The letter, which is pictured below, asks to help retire Brumbaugh’s debt of more than $10,000. However, it appears to violate Ethics rules to solicit campaign funds at the Capitol, as well as, using a state employee or other state resources to raise money for campaigns. If pursued, this manner of violation typically leads to a reprimand from the Ethics Commission, rather than criminal charges.

It also should be noted that Rep. Brumbaugh’s widow has announced she will run for her husband’s seat in the upcoming special election to fill his unexpired term. Shelley Brumbaugh made the announcement on May 9. Ritze’s letter is dated May 4, 2017.


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