NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A vote to scuttle penalties against prominent Republican operative Tom Ingram has fallen short in the state Ethics Commission.
The panel on Thursday voted 3-1 to drop the cases against Ingram, his colleague Marcille Durham and client Hillsborough Resources for failing to register to lobby for three years on behalf of a coal company seeking to mine on public lands.
That's one vote short of the minimum needed to pass, so members agreed to hear the cases again at next month's meeting.
Attorney Dick Lodge called the failure to register to lobby an inadvertent oversight.
But Commissioner Keith Norman, the lone vote against dropping the cases, said doing so would set a bad precedent in other cases where lobbyists failed to file their registrations for several years running.