District 34 State Rep. Abel Herrero was fined $2,800 last week by the Texas Ethics Commission for improperly reporting political expenditures and reimbursements in filings between 2006 and 2008.
The ruling from the TEC stems from filings Herrero submitted during that three-year span showing various reimbursements to staff and himself. The commission focused on $8,200 worth of expenditures made to a member of Herrero's staff, Zulema Zapata, according to the ruling.
Herrero's filings listed expenditures and reimbursements for items such as "office supplies" or "flag purchase," but did not list the specific name and address of the vendor who ultimately provided the goods or services. For instance, Office Depot for office supplies or HEB for flag purchase. As such, the ruling said there was "credible evidence for violations" present to impose the fine.
In a prepared statement issued after the TEC's ruling was announced, Herrero acknowledged the oversight and took responsibility for the decision.
"I have implemented updated accounting methods to ensure continued compliance in my campaign finance reports," he said. "I appreciate the cooperative spirit of the staff members of the TEC in the resolution of this matter and their assistance in changing my campaign's internal reporting procedures to ensure future compliance."
The allegations against Herrero, who is seeking his fourth term as state representative for District 34 in November, were the result of a complaint by Houston resident Rex Lamb.