Former Hewes campaign manager must repay $370,000

The Secretary of State’s office has ordered former Billy Hewes campaign manager Morgan Shands to repay more than $370,000 to an American Legion Post in Cleveland after spending their funds for his own benefit.

A consent order released by Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann’s office said Shands spent $198,480 for his own personal use from 2008 to 2012, while he served as adjutant of Post 1776.

The American Legion’s stated purpose on file during the relevant period was “to advocate for and support veterans and American Legion programs.” When the Charities Division of the Secretary of State’s Office performed an examination of the post, it noted several violations in the post’s bookkeeping.

It was also determined that the post did not use all of the funds it received for the stated purpose of supporting veterans and American Legion programs. Each of the five violations noted against the post involved Shands and his wife using charity funds for personal reasons.

The document says Shands, who was at one time the Adjutant of the post, used $198,480.54 in funds that were designated for the Saint Ambrose Leadership College project “for his personal benefit” from 2008-10012. In addition, the Charities Division alleges Shands used another $56,966.61 for personal reasons from 2011 to 2012. From 2010-2011, Shands used charity funds designated for the St. Anthony’s project for personal reasons.

Allegedly Shands’ wife was paid $104,893.86 from 2009-2010 to be a round-the-clock nurse for St. Stanislaus College. College officials told the Secretary of State’s Office that they never even knew she was on call 24/7, nor did they have need for a nurse around the clock. In addition, St. Stanislaus was already paying her to be a part-time nurse.

The post also allegedly paid $3,275.93 to Maverick Political Solutions, LLC, a company formed in 2008 by Shands.

Clarion Ledger
2/20/14