Tim Echols, Public Service Commission candidate: $187,980
By KATJUSA CISAR
Tim Echols, a nonprofit leader and political consultant running for the Georgia Public Service Commission, says he earned more than $120,000 last year plus a housing allowance and family health benefits worth another $67,000.
Echols’ financial disclosure, filed with the State Ethics Commission in May, disclosed income from both his consulting business and the non-profit. The disclosures, required by state law, are intended to give voters a sense of whether a candidate’s personal financial interests might intersect with his or her public duties if elected. He and state Sen. John Douglas are seeking an open seat on the Public Service Commission that pays about $116,000 a year.
About half of the reported $120,711 income came from Echols’ business Gold Dome Consulting, he says, and the rest from his salary as president of his Christian-based nonprofit Family Resource Network and from two college courses he taught. The nonprofit oversees two main projects: Mother to Mother, a series of educational pamphlets and DVDs for new moms, and TeenPact Leadership Schools, a national program that trains Christian teenagers in political organizing.
Echols is under scrutiny for using TeenPact-trained students in Gold Dome’s and his own political efforts, a potential legal and ethical violation. On Tuesday, Atlanta real estate agent Scott Helyer filed an ethics complaint alleging Echols used home-schooled children as campaign volunteers for his own monetary gain.
Echols made $46,000 in 2009 with Gold Dome — including a $15,000 end-of-the-year bonus — working as campaign manager for Republican gubernatorial candidate John Oxendine. He says he “greatly reduced” his responsibilities with Family Resource Network after joining the Oxendine campaign in June 2009. Gold Dome’s only other business in 2009, Echols says, was a few weeks’ work for U.S. Rep. Paul Broun’s campaign.
He also earned $4,151 teaching courses at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs and Belhaven University in Jackson, Miss., both Christian liberal arts institutions. The remainder of his $120,000 earnings came from Family Resource Network.
Echols also received $67,269 in benefits for Family Resource Network during the fiscal year ending in June 2009, tax records show. Of this, he says, about $35,000 was a housing allowance he’s granted as an ordained minister, and the rest were health benefits for himself, his wife and seven children.
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