Senator Clayton Hee’s empty financial disclosures got a mention yesterday in the Star-Advertiser’s “Political Radar” blog.
Hee put a smiley face on the issue, and Reporter Derrick DePledge got the comment.
“I made a mistake. I take full responsibility for it. As soon as I was notified of it, I corrected it immediately,” the senator said in an email. “It was human error, and I’m a human being. I apologize for my error.”
A mistake? Well, he made the mistake several times back in 2008 by checking off the boxes claiming to have no sources of income or business connections. Those mistakes were casually repeated in 2009. In 2010. And again in 2011.
Trying to write this off as “human error” is quite a stretch. That’s being quite prone to error.
Hee’s real mistake was assuming that he didn’t need to bother filling out the forms properly by reporting the information required by law.
True, Hee did file an amended return as soon as it became an issue. So far, though, the earlier reports for 2008-2010 have not been amended to provide full disclosure.
It should be noted that the Ethics Commission quickly responded to criticism and now has both Hee’s original 2011 disclosure and the amended version online, although its web site is running very, very slowly, painfully so.
DePledge reports it will be up to the Ethics Commission to determine whether any further action will be taken.
By the way, the state’s business registration records lists The Cowboy Company as a trade name registered by Hee in 1989. It expired on September 5, 1990.