Jonas Hughes says he will pay fines, take office

JEFFERSON CITY | Missouri state Rep.-elect Leonard “Jonas” Hughes IV said Friday he will pay the $19,090 in fines that have sidelined him from office since the legislative session began last month.

The Kansas City Democrat owes fees and fines to the Missouri Ethics Commission dating back to 2006 for late campaign filings and misuse of political contributions. A state law that went into effect last year bars elected officials from taking office until commission debts are paid.

The commission on Friday morning denied a request from Hughes to reduce the amount owed, and as recently as last week, Hughes said he did not have the money to pay the full $19,090.

The difference now, he said, is that his family will assist in paying the fine.

“My family came together and supported me,” Hughes said. “I didn’t want to put the burden on them, but they rallied behind me and wanted me to finish my career, my time in the House.”

Hughes’ father, Leonard Hughes III, is a municipal court judge in Kansas City.

Officials at the ethics commission said Hughes had not paid the fine as of Friday afternoon. Hughes himself said he planned to be in Jefferson City Monday to pay the fine and take office.

“I will be down there and have this settled so I can provide the leadership for my district that I always have,” he said.