Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ethics Commission: C. J. Huff speaking fees are not income

C. J. Huff is not committing violations of Missouri ethics laws by not reporting his speaking income because his speaking is considered "honoraria" rather than income from an employer.

The extent of the Ethics Commission's investigation, which I requested, was to check the policy the Joplin R-8 Board of Education passes every two years, most recently on August 19, 2014, which specifies that the superintendent  has to reveal the names of any employer that pays him more than $1,000. The Ethics Commission does not consider the Washington Speakers Bureau to be an employer, but rather a service through which Huff books his speaking gigs.

After the board policy was examined, the Ethics Commission decided not to order a full investigation.

"In this instance," the letter sent to me by Executive Director James Klahr said, "the Commission determined that the personal financial disclosure is not required to list honoraria received."

The Joplin R-8 policy is not any different from that of neighboring Webb City and Neosho, with all of them likely being model policies from the Missouri School Boards Association.

Of course, Huff did miss four weeks of workdays while hopscotching the U. S. and Canada to tell his story of saving Joplin, but if Anne Sharp and the Board of Education have no problem with it, why should the rest of us?

As always, please feel free to comment.


Anonymous said...

The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. That's the American way. Until there is a revolution (such as the "French Revolution") this is the way life will remain. All government offices and politicians are corrupt.

Anonymous said...

Honoraria is still a taxable income. I guess he declares it.

Anonymous said...


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Anonymous said...

What an invitation.

Open to abuse.

The insiders are already working it like a street corner h*.

Real people are the last to know.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for shedding light on this subject. You asked for an investigation and you reported the details even if they were not what was expected. This technical detail of honorarium vs employee income is really irrelevant. The R8 schools continue to struggle and the Superintendent and R8 board have lost credibility. It's past time for a change.

Anonymous said...

What does the IRS say?

Anonymous said...

How can the leader of such a large school district - continue to line his pockets (speaking fees, large annual increases, etc.) and yet be so "indifferent" to low teacher salaries?????

How can the teachers ever "respect" such a leader????

Anonymous said...

On the one hand they want to say that our academics have fallen because the captain of Ship R8 has been too busy with recovery to focus on learning. On the other hand, we learn that the board has given said captain permission to be away from his post for a month a year in order to line his pockets while exploiting the situation back home. What a crock. In other words, CJ can literally do whatever in hell he wants and this group of buffoons will subserviently make it happen for him.

Enough already. Vote for Koch, Roberts, and Martucci and send this crying clown out of here.

Anonymous said...

Huff's accomplices on the school board truly have no shame. Huff's wishes are put before the voting community's every time.

Thank you for looking after our best interest, Mr. Turner. It's more than the Board is doing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your inquiry. It's sad that the Ethics Commission would not consider the income from speeches as income. Ridiculous, whether it's called an honorarium or not, it's still income. But I guess we should have known that ethical policies have no place with an Ethics Commission.

Anonymous said...

That tornado has truly been pure silver, and sometimes gold, for Joplin's upper administration. In the meantime, the rest of us are struggling to hang on to our homes with the higher taxes and the shrinking wages.

Glad you are having such a good time, Dr. Huff, at our expense. Sure hope the little missus gets a new pair of shoes and a handbag out of each speech and that the little Huffs still get their private swimming lessons at home.The rest of us will just eat the stale cake crumbs thrown our way.

Anonymous said...

The captain of the Ship R8 must be off somewhere collecting more honorarium money if his CFO Barr is allowed to speak to the Glob regarding the ~$8.9 million SEMA reimbursement released recently. Normally C.J. would be there in the spot light.

Anonymous said...

Full Definition of HONORARIUM
: a payment for a service (as making a speech) on which custom or propriety forbids a price to be set

And The Washington Speakers Bureau lists them starting at $15,000 with an asterisk stating that fees vary with location and event.

When was this R8 policy originally set? This sounds like something designed for Huff to get away with something.

If this is taxable, then why doesn't it count in this case?

Even if he can do this, doesn't mean he should. If he wants to reduce even the SMALLEST amount of loathing people have for him, he would just publish how much he has gotten for these. Then again, we have a pretty good idea about how much he made. So I guess he is the detestable liar we've known all along.

Anonymous said...

Bahaha...even though quite a few of us already knew this, it was funny just to sit around and watch this explode in your face. Oh the small pleasures in life

Anonymous said...

After reading the comments on this site, it seems obvious to me that Huff, on his way back from committing murder in St. Louis, paid off the Ethics Commission while in Jefferson City to convince the Governor to interfere in Joplin's school board election.

The Head Turner-tard Huffed & Puffed and didn't blow the Glass House Down said...

And the Head Turner-tard puffed @ Huff and the "Ethics" Kommissars didn't blow the House of Glass down.

Looks like the HuffinaTards rule and the Turner-tards drool.

Looks like snitching doesn't pay.

Anonymous said...

2:03, your comment speaks volumes as an indicator of your writing ability. I hope you don't write your own speeches.

Anonymous said...

Just because they couldn't "legally" do anything, doesn't mean that it isn't wrong. Bill Clinton lied and did all sorts of things but could never be charged with anything.
So, to all of you who thing this was something saying that Huff is an alright dude and that Turner is not, you're wrong.
Wrong is wrong, no matter who or how many people think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

2:03 is a hate monger. He lives and breathes ignorance.

8:04 and 8:08--Just because the board gave CJ their blessing to exploit the tornado situation for his own personal gain does not make it right. His speeches make the town sound like a third world country that he, and he alone, has brought to the light. The reality, if you would look at the data without your rose colored glasses, is that the district has suffered tremendous losses, economically and academically, since Huff came to town. The data before the tornado upholds that. So this decision by the Ethics Commission hardly exonerates your false idol; it simply states his action, according to his pet board's policy, in not illegal.

Anonymous said...

I hope and pray that one day we will know who you really are. If/when that happens, prepare to have the advocacy group, People First, picket your home and/or business. Karma is a bitch.