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Campaign treasurer shuffles donations after reporter questions Hernando School Board candidate’s finance records

Mark Johnson [Courtesy of Hernando County School District]
Mark Johnson [Courtesy of Hernando County School District]
Published Aug. 23, 2018|Updated Aug. 23, 2018

Hernando County School Board Chairman Mark Johnson has collected more money to fuel his re-election campaign than any other candidate.

Of the more than $17,000 contributions recorded by the Hernando County Supervisor of Elections, $3,100 can be linked to his campaign treasurer, Greg Myers, a Brooksville accountant and travel agent.

Myers donated to Johnson personally and through his two Brooksville businesses, Myers business services and Jo-My travel agency. Myers' business partner, Earle H. Jordan, also contributed to Johnson's campaign.

As of Thursday morning, records showed he gave $300 personally, which is legal under state law that allows a maximum of only $1,000 per contributor for candidates seeking local office. Donations from Jordan were also within the limit, at $300.

However, contributions from Myers' businesses — totaling $1,250 each — exceeded the state's cap. Records show $250 donations from each business on July 24, 2017, and $1,000 donations from each on July 25, 2018.

When questioned by the Tampa Bay Times Thursday, Johnson referred a reporter to Myers, who he said also serves as his personal accountant.

"I don't really pay attention to it … He handles all that," Johnson said. "If he did that, he's got to correct it."

Myers told the Times on Thursday afternoon that everything was fixed. His accounting system didn't catch the mistake regarding the two  $250 donations, he said.

"It was reported incorrectly under the company's name, but it should have been from us personally," he said. "It was a inadvertent typographical error."

Updated finance records show Myers rerouted the illegally made donations to work within the law.

As it stands now, Johnson got $550 each from Myers and Jordan, and $1,000 each from Myers Business Services and Jo-My.

Contact Megan Reeves at mreeves@tampabay.com. Follow @mareevs.