Corp Comm candidate Sears being investigated by AG for disclosure violation




Kiana Sears. Photo courtesy YouTube

The Attorney General’s Office is investigating Kiana Sears, one of the Democratic candidates for Corporation Commission, for violating state campaign finance law.

The investigation comes after Harry Young, a voter in Mayer, filed a complaint with the Secretary of State’s Office in September detailing several LLCs owned in part by Sears that were not included in her financial disclosure statement. All candidates for statewide office are required to file the disclosures.

“I believe that this failure to list these must be a deliberate act,” Young wrote in the complaint.

The complaint prompted the Secretary of State’s Office to investigate. The office substantiated the claims, determined Sears violated Arizona law and forwarded the matter to the AG for enforcement.

A spokesman for the AG’s office confirmed it is investigating the complaint that was forwarded to them by the Secretary of State’s Office.

The violation could result in a fine of no more than $500.

“I have not violated Arizona law,” Sears told the Secretary of State in response to the complaint. “I have not profited from any business in the past 24 months.”

Sears claims that the business entities outlined in the letter are dormant, and said that she and her husband may use them as vehicles for future business endeavors, but are not actively making money from them.

However, the law requires that candidates include in their disclosures “a list of all business licenses” and the “names and addresses of all businesses and trusts” owned by a candidate or her family.

Sears did disclose one of the businesses owned by her husband, but failed to disclose several other businesses owned by her husband that operate under the umbrella of the other business, according to the complaint.

One of the LLCs in question even bears her name, Kiana Maria Sears PLLC.

Sears did not respond to a request for comment.

Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joins the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. Jerod has also won awards for his documentary films which have covered issues such as religious tolerance and surveillance technology used by police. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.

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