Former Missouri House member accused of theft, false report

Friday, April 28, 2006

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A former state legislator who was fined $9,000 last year by the Missouri Ethics Commission for campaign law violations has been charged with theft and filing a false campaign finance report.

Robert M. "Mike" Sager, 40, was charged with one felony count of stealing and with the misdemeanor of filing a false campaign finance disclosure report, Jackson County Prosecutor Mike Sanders said Thursday.

The charges accuse Sager of appropriating about $15,000 from his Citizens for Sager campaign committee and with falsely claiming he had loaned a campaign committee $50,000.

"Few things are more serious than breaches of the public trust we place in our public officials," Sanders said.

He said the charges resulted from an inquiry by the Ethics Commission and subsequent investigations by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Sager, a Democrat from Lee's Summit, was elected to the Missouri House in 2002. He was defeated when he sought re-election two years later.

When it fined Sager last December, the Ethics Commission referred part of the matter involving his campaign to the prosecutor's office. The commission fined him for nine violations, including accepting donations exceeding the $300 limit and filing inaccurate reports.

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