Texas Sen. Menéndez fails to report $50,000 in donations
State Sen. José Menéndez has acknowledge that he failed to report $50,000 in donations given to his campaign by two political action committees.
Menéndez, a Democrat from San Antonio, received $25,000 each from the Texas Trial Lawyers Association and Texans for Lawsuit Reform after an investigation by the Texas Tribune.
“The ultimate responsibility is with me,” Menéndez told the Tribune. “I’m not going to be throwing anybody under the bus. I will comply with whatever they decide. If they decide there is a fine required or whatever, they’ll make their judgment and I will step up and take responsibility.”
Menéndez also said he was implementing new procedures to ensure that he doesn’t miss other contributions. He said the donation in 2015 from the lawsuit reform group, TLR PAC, was a wire transfer. The one in 2016 from the trial lawyer group, TTLA PAC, came via check.
“We take compliance very seriously, and we’re implementing new safeguards to make sure that nothing slips through,” Menéndez said.
The penalty for failure to report donations can range anywhere from a Class C to a Class A misdemeanor. The Texas Ethics Commission can also assess penalties of up to $5,000 per violation or three times the amount at issue, whichever is greater.
Menéndez is well-known this legislative session for his filing of SB 269, which would establish a whole plant medical cannabis program to help those who suffer from a range of debilitating diseases. It is unclear if this recent finding will have any impact on the bill’s chances for passage.