Democrats' 'Freshman of the Year' Rep. Ron Reynolds arrested

Texas State Rep. Ron Reynolds has been arrested, jailed and charged with illegally soliciting clients for his law practice.  He is now free on $50,000.00 bond.  Reynolds is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

The story does not mention his party affiliation, so, yes, he is a Democrat.

He was previously fined $10,000.00 by the Texas Ethics Commission for refusing to file legally-required disclosure statements.

"Since Reynolds first ran for office in 2008, he’s missed numerous financial disclosure deadlines, KXAN's investigation showed," KXAN reports.

"He failed to submit his Personal Financial Statement for 2008, 2010 and 2011. He was not required to file on in 2009 because he was not a candidate or elected official for that year.

"Failure to file a Personal Financial Statement is a Class B Misdemeanor. If convicted, the penalty is up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

"In addition, the Texas Election Code prohibits any state candidate for state office from accepting contributions or making expenditures until a campaign treasurer report is filed with the Texas Ethics Commission. Records obtained through the Texas Public Information Act show The Texas Ethics Commission voted to terminate Reynolds' campaign treasure appointment, effective May 16, 2009.

"Reynolds didn’t file a new appointment until Jan. 19. In the meantime, he raised $129,914 and spent $110,484 in campaign funds . Violating the Election Code regarding raising or spending funds without a campaign treasurer appointment is a Class A Misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor, the penalty is up to a year in jail, a fine of up to $4,000 or both.

"The investigation also show that a Federal Tax Lien filed against Reynolds in Fort Bend County indicating that he owes the Internal Revenue Service $59,122. Court filings also show Reynolds and his law firm own $10,466.56 plus interest on a debt to Martindale-Hubble.

"Reynolds' law firm, Brown, Brown & Reynolds, is listed as being in Tax Forfeiture by the Secretary of State’s office, effective Dec. 10.

"Records filed at the Secretary of State’s office shows other entities involving Reynolds were involuntarily dissolved or forfeited because the credit card used to pay the fee was declined."

While under investigation for all that, he was nonetheless named "Freshman of the Year" by the House Democrat Caucus.

“I was proud to announce that Ron was our Freshman of the Year,” said Jessica Farrar, House Democratic Leader.  His legislative paycheck is being garnished to collect the fines for disclosure violations.

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