BY ALLEN JOHNSON JR.
Embattled Mandeville Mayor Eddie Price today admits he failed to file his annual campaign finance reports for 2008 with the Louisiana Ethics Board. They are correct, Price told Gambit, the day after his apparently unrelated indictment for perjury by a St. Tammany Parish grand jury. I havent filed anything since all of this stuff started, Price said, referring to state and federal investigations into alleged financial misconduct against him and his office.
The state ethics board has scheduled a public hearing for Aug. 26 to explore possible charges against Price for failing to file a report on his campaign contributions, expenses, loans and debts -- overdue since Feb. 15, 2009, according to Kathleen Allen, general counsel for the ethics panel. The board could assess civil fines of up to $2,500. If any criminal conduct is alleged, the board is required to turn over its findings to the state Attorney Generals Office or the local district attorney, according to board rules.
Reached by phone at his City Hall office on Friday, the mayor said he is unsure if he will attend the ethics board hearing, adding he would have to consult his defense attorney, Ralph Whalen.
Price is expected to report to St. Tammany Parish jail for booking on the perjury charge 8:30 a.m. Monday (Aug. 17). Price has said he is innocent of state charges that he lied during his testimony last year at the criminal trial of Speedee Oil Change owner Gary Copp. He also has said he has no plans to resign the office he has held since 1996.