News Briefs

Former Missouri lawmaker sentenced to 21 months in prison for misusing campaign funds

By: - March 31, 2021 2:42 pm

Former Democratic state Rep. Courtney Curtis was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Wednesday for using campaign funds for his own personal expenses. He was also ordered to pay $47,000 in restitution.

Former state Rep. Courtney Curtis (photo by Tim Bommel/Missouri House Communications).

United States District Judge Stephen Clark handed down the sentence nearly five months after Curtis pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud relative to his theft of funds from his “Curtis for MO” campaign account. Curtis, 39 of Ferguson, served as a state representative from 2013 to 2019.

Most recently, Curtis served as an assistant to St. Louis County Councilwoman Rita Heard Days.

Beginning in January 2016, Curtis began using money donated to his campaign committee to pay utility bills; pay rent; cover travel expenses; and pay restaurant and bar tabs. He also withdrew cash from his campaign account at area casinos.

Curtis acted to conceal his scheme by failing to file required reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

In 2017, the Missouri Ethics Commission fined Curtis $114,000 for various violations. Curtis resigned from office in December 2018 in order to avoid having to abide by a cooling off period that was about to kick in that would have preventing him from registering as a lobbyist for two years.

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Jason Hancock
Jason Hancock

Jason Hancock has been writing about Missouri since 2011, most recently as lead political reporter for The Kansas City Star. He has spent nearly two decades covering politics and policy for news organizations across the Midwest, and has a track record of exposing government wrongdoing and holding elected officials accountable.