State Sen. Ralph Hise still under investigation for campaign finance discrepancies

SPRUCE PINE — Despite hiring new treasurer, Amy B Ellis, CPA, Hise’s campaign finances are still undergoing an audit by the NC State Board of Elections.  In a follow-up phone call to the NC State Board of Elections (SBE) today, the SBE confirmed that the case was still under investigation and there were no amended filings as of this date.

Ralph Hise’s mid-year semi-annual report for 2017 was submitted by Amy B Ellis, CPA. Ellis took over in May after the irregularities in Hise’s filings were found. Some of them are:

  • The reported cash-on-hand at the beginning of the period, $34,455.02, does not match the reported cash-on-hand at the end of the prior period, $33,969.82. This leaves a difference of $485.20 not addressed anywhere in the report.
  • A reported outstanding loan balance of $708.87 from an original loan amount of $857.66 leaves a difference of $148.79. Neither the original loan, nor a repayment of $148.79 is properly recorded in this or prior reports.
  • At least two reported refunds/reimbursements of $100.00 each to businesses with the notation “Check deposited in error. Refund was processed immediately upon identification.” There is no record of original contributions having been made by these corporate entities or their associates.
  • A payment of $485.00 in January to “Jamie M Miller, CPA, PLLC” for “Accounting Services”that in previous reports recorded payments to Miller for “Accounting Services/Fees” amount to $5,040 for 2014 through 2016. However campaign finance reports show the filings as prepared and submitted by Hise and/or his treasurer who was his mother until recently.

Ralph Hise has yet to address any of the identified discrepancies in his campaign finance reports including apparent unreported PAC contributions, undocumented payees and apparent overpayment of loan payments.

Our call to the State Board of Elections asking why this matter has not been addressed was not returned by press time.

Special thanks to Gregg Flynn’s contributions to this article.