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Missouri ethics panel fines former senator $270K

A former state senator from St. Louis has been fined more than $270,000 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for violating numerous campaign finance laws.

A decision released Wednesday by the commission found that former Democratic Sen. Robin Wright-Jones used campaign money for personal expenses such as food and clothing. She also received vehicle mileage reimbursements both from the state and her campaign committee. The commission also found numerous instances where the campaign failed to report contributions and expenditures by deadlines.

St. Louis attorney Bernard Edwards Jr. represents Wright-Jones. He called the fine arbitrary and excessive and said the expenses for clothes, food and mileage were legitimately related to her political and official duties. Edwards says he plans to appeal the case to the state Administrative Hearing Commission.

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