BIG SPRING - NewsWest 9 and KBYG News have discovered that two candidates running for the Big Spring City Council have accepted donations from corporations. That is not allowed under Texas law.
The discovery comes just a few days after an investigation was launched by the Texas Rangers into Big Spring Mayor Tommy Duncan's campaign contributions during his run for Mayor last year. Duncan accepted donations totaling $800 from two Big Spring companies.
NewsWest 9 and KBYG News submitted requests to the Big Spring City Secretary's Office under the Freedom of Information Act Tuesday morning to obtain financial disclosure forms from all candidates in the upcoming election.
NewsWest9 and KBYG News discovered the same two companies that donated to Duncan's campaign, Quad A Inc. and Hydro Dynamics, gave contributions to candidates Marcus Fernandez and Glen Corrigan. Both are challenging incumbents in Districts 1 and 3.
Marcus Fernandez issued a statement to NewsWest 9 Tuesday afternoon. Fernandez said he decided to review his contributions after he learned of the investigation into Mayor Duncan. Fernandez says his attorney advised him that corporate contributions were not illegal after a recent Supreme Court ruling. Fernandez says Texas law has not caught up to federal law, but he will return the money which totaled $1,200.
NewsWest 9 contacted the Texas Ethics Commission Tuesday about the donations. A spokesperson said the recent Supreme Court ruling did not change the Texas Election Code and that contributions from corporations are illegal in Texas.
Howard County Sheriff Stan Parker says his office is not investigating the contributions at this time because no formal complaint has been filed.