# John Ruan III

McCoy to pay fine to settle ethics investigation

As you may recall, Iowa Senator Matt McCoy of Des Moines was acquitted in December on federal charges of attempted extortion. The case against McCoy was weak and raised questions about whether partisan politics influenced his indictment.

One detail that emerged from the trial was that in December 2005, Des Moines businessman John Ruan III (a Republican) wrote a $2,500 check to McCoy with the words “Mike Blouen” in the memo line. A few days later, McCoy contributed $2,500 to the gubernatorial campaign of fellow Democrat Mike Blouin.

That disclosure led to an ethics investigation, which has now been settled, according to the Des Moines Register:

A prominent Des Moines businessman and an Iowa state senator have each agreed to pay $1,250 to settle allegations that one used the other to pass an illegal campaign contribution to a former candidate for governor.

John Ruan III and state Sen. Matt McCoy will pay the fines as part of a deal to end a state ethics investigation into a series of checks between the men and the failed candidate, Democrat Mike Blouin.

The settlement, approved by the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board late Monday, includes assertions that neither Ruan nor McCoy “intended to violate or willfully violated” campaign law with a December 2005 check from McCoy to Blouin.

Charles Smithson of the ethics board called the settlement “a fair resolution of the matter for all involved” and said Blouin would not have to return the disputed $2,500 contribution because “there was no evidence that he knew anything about the underlying situation.”

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