Sullivan County

Tennessee lawmaker uses campaign funds to buy mattress

A Tennessee lawmaker from our area has some unusual campaign spending.

We looked into Representative Timothy Hill's campaign funds after we got a tip he bought a mattress with it.

News 5 confirmed that tip by looking at his disclosure reports. The reports on the State Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance website shows he spent $491.65 on a mattress back in May.

We called Hill to find out why the purchase was necessary. He told us it's for a intern to sleep on so the intern doesn't have to commute from Johnson County to Sullivan County as frequently during the campaign.  

We spoke with the Drew Rawlins, the executive director of the Bureau of Ethics and Campaign Finance, to find out if this is a legal use of funds.

Rawlins told us candidates only really have one main restriction, they can't use campaign money for personal purchases.

Candidates explain how they're spending money in a disclosure report. If there is a problem with the explanation, Rawlins said they ask the candidate for more information.

We asked Hill where the mattress is now. He told it's in his home surrounded by other campaign materials.   

After we spoke to Hill on the phone, he sent us this statement:

"The sleeping materials were purchased in good faith by the campaign, for use strictly in the course of the campaign, by campaign staff. Upon completion of the campaign, the materials will be donated to a charity, as planned."

Most Popular