Chris Kelly

Former mayoral candidate Chris Kelly

Chris Kelly accepted responsibility last month for violations he and his campaign associates made during his unsuccessful run for Columbia mayor earlier this year, concluding an investigation by the Missouri Ethics Commission.

The violations emerged in March when Mayor Brian Treece’s campaign team filed a formal complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission regarding an in-kind donation to Kelly’s campaign from Columbia Marketing Group, a subsidiary of the corporation Columbia Business Times.

The Missouri Constitution prohibits corporations from making contributions to campaign committees, thus putting Kelly, Campaign Treasurer Nikki Krawitz and the campaign committee Friends of Chris Kelly in violation.

Upon learning about their violation, Kelly and his team paid $950 to Columbia Marketing Group for its work, and he attached an amendment to his most recent campaign finance report to reflect the transaction as an expense. 

Kelly and Krawitz signed a consent order outlining their errors last month that was then approved by the Missouri Ethics Commission July 10.

The order states no further action will be taken in the case.

  • Summer 2019 reporter and assistant city editor. Reach me by email at or on Twitter at @tomcoulter_

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