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More Money for Mason Via PayPal, Omits Info on Ethics Forms

By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY —University of Alabama Systems (UA) online records show Jon Mason’s company received more payments in March. Jon Mason is the husband of Rebekah Caldwell Mason former advisor to Governor Robert Bentley. Both failed to include on their ethics forms that Jon Mason performed consulting work for the University. On his 2012 ethics filing, he does not list his wife or her state job.

JRM Enterprises, Inc., is a Tuscaloosa-based, advertising, marketing and design company, established by Jon Mason in 2005, according to the listing on the Secretary of State’s site.

Research revealed that JRM received another $29,000 in PayPal payments on March 22, 2016. JRM received $45,450 in payments in February as reported by al.com. This brings the total of payments made using PayPal to $74,450, for the months of February and March.

UA records show the use of the online payment system for $148,837.14 for all vendors from January through March 2016. Payments to JRM represent over half of the total amount that the University spent the first quarter of this year; some 336 PayPal transactions.

PayPal payments do not show up on a search for JRM Enterprises in the University’s system. Only a search on “PayPal” brings up a results list including payments to PAYPAL JRMENTERPRI.

University records show they have contracted Jon Mason’s services since 2010, but all previous payments totaling $200,150 have been made by check. University officials maintain that they only paid for services for which they were invoiced.

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JRM received checks from UA as follows in 2010, $25,500; in 2012, $29,500; in 2013, $104,100; in 2014 $12,150; and in 2015, $28,900.

Jon Mason has been employed by ServeAlabama.gov since October 2011, earning an annual salary of $98,583.42, after a 16 percent raise in October 2013. Previously, he was paid by the Governor’s Faith-Based Community Initiative.

During 2013, Rebekah Mason formed RCM Communications and transitioned from a State employee to a consultant for Gov. Bentley. From July through November that year, she was paid $22,195 in consulting, $200 for fundraising, $112,190 for advertising, and $8,385 in administrative fees.

On John Mason’s 2013 Statement of Economic Interest (SOEI) filed with the Ethics Commission, he stated that his income amount for JRM Enterprises was between $10,000 – $50,000 even though he earned $104,100 that year from the University. Also, when asked to list any professional or consulting services performed by “you or your spouse,” he lists one public official, presumably RCM’s consulting for Bentley, however he omits listing the University as a client on both his 2013 and 2014 filings. They should have been listed in the “Miscellaneous” category.

While Jon Mason and Rebekah Mason report her consulting for a public official earning $25,000 – $50,000, she categorized herself as an “appointed official” who was “self-employed” on her SOEI.

On both her 2012 and 2013 ethics forms, she lists Jon Mason identifying him as her spouse working as a state employee. She too does not list Jon Mason’s work for the University on her 2013 filing under any category or list Jon Mason’s company on any part of the form.

In Rebekah Caldwell Mason’s 2012 form at question 5.4, asking whether the applicant or spouse owns 5 percent or more in stock of a business or subsidiary, she listed Jon Mason’s company. On her 2013 form she answered question 5.4 as “not applicable.”

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On Jon Mason’s 2012 ethics filing, when asked about his spouse and their employment, he answers “N/A.” On his 2013 and 2014 forms, RCM Communications is not mentioned by name, although she was a state employee earning $48,750 annually.

The State ethics form asks each individual to swear or affirm that the information provided is true and correct.

It reads as follows: “I have read and completed this Statement of Economic Interests Form and do swear (or affirm) that the information contained in said Statement of Economic Interests is true and correct.”

Jon Mason and Rebekah Caldwell confirmed their statements were true and signed their names multiple times.

 

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