State Sen. Cooper Fined $120K for Misappropriating Campaign Funds

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State Sen. Jerry Cooper has been fined $120,000 for moving campaign funds into a personal account.

It's the largest penalty the Registry of Election Finance has ever issued.

Registry director Drew Rawlins says rules do not allow campaign money for personal use. Cooper moved $94,350 in campaign funds to his private account.

The transfer was disclosed during a trial at which the Morrison Democrat was charged with bank fraud, mail fraud and conspiracy. A jury in Chattanooga acquitted him on those charges.

The senator was not at the Wednesday meeting and no one was there to represent him. He did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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