De­whurst aide in­ves­ti­gated

Up to $1.3 mil­lion from lieu­tenant gov­er­nor’s cam­paign ac­count gone over past 5 years.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Lay­lan Copelin and Ben Wear lcopelin@states­ bwear@states­ Lt. Gov. David De­whurst’s cam­paign filed 11 cor­rected fi­nance re­ports. Con­sul­tant

Buddy Barfield, an Austin Repub­li­can po­lit­i­cal con­sul­tant un­der scru­tiny af­ter up to $1.3 mil­lion dis­ap­peared from Lt. Gov. David De­whurst’s cam­paign ac­count over the past five years, has had fi­nan­cial trou­bles since at least 2006, ac­cord­ing to Travis County court records.

Of­fi­cials with the Travis County district at­tor­ney’s of­fice said Fri­day that they had be­gun an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter De­whurst as­so­ci­ates came to them Dec. 20 to report con­cerns about Barfield’s han­dling of the cam­paign’s money.

The De­whurst cam­paign Dec. 21 filed 11 cor­rected cam­paign fi­nance re­ports with the Texas Ethics Com­mis­sion dat­ing to 2008, claim­ing that nei­ther De­whurst nor cam­paign trea­surer Howard Wolf, an Austin lawyer and long­time busi­ness as­so­ciate of De­whurst’s, knew un­til re­cently of dis­crep­an­cies in the re­ports. The cor­rected re­ports lay all the prob­lems at the feet of Barfield.

The cam­paign man­ager for De­whurst’s 2010 re-elec­tion cam­paign, ac­cord­ing to a terse para­graph in­serted into each cor­rected report, said Barfield had en­gaged in “mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of cam­paign bal­ances ... for his per­sonal ben­e­fit.”

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