By BRIAN WALKER
The attorney representing Bill Brooks said Tuesday the allegations against the Kootenai County Commission candidate for campaign reporting violations during the May primary ended up being “much to do about nothing.”
Jim Crowe said the recent decision by the Shoshone County Prosecutor’s Office to fine Brooks $150 for being a day late during reporting and clear him of any wrongdoing for not using his birth name of Robert William Brooks III in filings instead of Bill Brooks is a relief.
“We’re glad the whole deal is done and Bill can continue with victory into the county commission office,” Crowe said. “Bill made himself treasurer and, as treasurer, he was a day late for financial reporting.”
Brooks, who defeated incumbent and fellow Republican Marc Eberlein during the May primary, will presumably take the District 1 seat of the Kootenai County Commission in January.
Brent Regan, the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee chairman, filed the allegations. He said he was traveling on Tuesday, but texted, “I’m glad this unfortunate matter is behind us and we can look forward to the general election on Nov. 6.”
The allegations were filed with the Idaho Secretary of State before being forwarded to the Kootenai County Prosecutor’s Office and ultimately Shoshone County.
Crowe said the fine could have been as high as $300.
“Any other claims were baseless because they were not even reviewed by (Shoshone County),” Crowe said.
Brooks called the allegations “an annoyance.”
“This is on a much smaller scale, but this is what Justice (Brett) Kavanaugh went through — allegations for political purpose,” Brooks said. “I knew from the beginning that these allegations were nonsense.”
Brooks added there have been other local candidates who’ve had reporting blemishes, but allegations weren’t filed against them.
Brooks, a political newcomer and a consumer advocate who writes a column for The Press, earlier admitted the tardiness of the campaign reporting was his fault. He said he has nothing to hide from taxpayers and believes in transparency.
“I found out the hard way that a candidate should focus on running for office, not counting beans,” he said earlier.
The other allegation contended that Bill Brooks (under that name) is not an elector and therefore was unqualified to be on the ballot. But Crowe countered that other candidates haven’t used their birth names before and no issues resulted.
Brooks said he’s always used the name Bill. He earlier showed The Press that he used that name on his high school identification and his former Alaska driver’s license. He also said he checked with the Kootenai County Clerk’s Office on which name to use before it was placed on the May ballot and it said Bill was OK to be used.