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Jon Mason Amends Filings, But Does It Add Up?

Susan Britt

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By Susan Britt
Alabama Political Reporter

MONTGOMERY—On Thursday, Jon Mason, husband of Rebekah Caldwell Mason, former advisor to Governor Robert Bentley, filed amended forms with the Alabama Ethics Commission for his 2011, 2012, and 2013 filings. Mason owns JRM Enterprises, Inc., a Tuscaloosa-based advertising, marketing, and design firm.

As reported by this publication earlier this week, there were questions surrounding apparent omissions and mistakes on Mason’s reports. Although, at first glance, they don’t seem to balance exactly against State records.

He amended all three years to include being self-employed by JRM Enterprises and earning more than $10,000. He added Rebekah Caldwell Mason’s State employment, and her company, RCM Communications, showing her 2013 transition from State employee to private business.

The reports appear to reflect a more accurate view of the Masons’ financial activities from that period. Multiple changes were made to incorporate Rebekah Caldwell Mason’s position as a State employee, and her added household income to the Mason’s finances.

He also reported sources “other income” not reported before. In this section, he added JRM Enterprises and a Charles Schwab Account to all three years, also adding RCM Communications to 2013.

While Mason changed his 2013 report to reflect that Rebekah Caldwell Mason had received between $50,000 and $150,000 from RCM Communication, both in other household income, professional services or consulting sections, State records show her firm was only paid $22,195 in consulting fees from Governor Bentley’s campaign account during that year.

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Rebekah Caldwell Mason’s 2013 ethics report shows one client and claims a range of $25,000-$50,000 originating from a public official. Ace.gov wasn’t established in 2014.

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In 2012 and 2013, he included that he was on a State committee for the Alabama Homeland Security Task Force. This information had not been reported before yesterday’s filings. The only State committees that had appeared on prior reports, was his membership on the State committee for Alabama Vet Net in 2013, which was omitted on the amended filing. Initially, on both reports he had selected “n/a.”

Originally, on Mason’s 2012 report, in the section for family, he had selected “n/a” for all questions. The amended report show Rebekah Caldwell Mason as his spouse, Philip Mason as living parents, Jenny Mason Frank as living sister as well as Doug and Peggy Caldwell as living parents of spouse.

In the “professional or consulting services” section, the changes were as follows:

2011—Added 1 bank, 1 life insurance company, 4 retail companies, 1 other government corp or authorities, 2 miscellaneous.

2012—Added 1 retail company, 2 other government corp or authorities, and 1 miscellaneous.

2013—Adds 1 retail, 2 other government corp or authorities, and 3 miscellaneous.

When multiplied by the number of clients in a category, with the possible gross income potential lows/highs, profits seem to be consistent, even though the income has dramatically increased. Below is a comparison between what he reported as potential income versus what he reported in the net profit section higher on the form.

2011—$9,000 – $90,000, reported profits between $10,000-$50,000.

2012—$22,000 – $61,000, reported profits between $10,000-$50,000.

2013–$60,000 – $235,000, reported profits between $10,000-$50,000.

Another inconsistency is revealed when comparing Mason’s ethics reports with his actual income, as reported by the university. When comparing the gross income levels under professional or consulting services with actual State records, it doesn’t seem to match.

In 2012, JRM earned $29,500 from the UA, but reported earning between $10,000-$25,000 from other government corporations or authorities.

In 2013, JRM earned $104,100 from the UA but reported earning between $10,000-$25,000 from two other government corporations or authorities, and the same amount from three miscellaneous clients.

As of deadline, Rebekah Caldwell Mason had not amended any reports. She has yet to include JRM Enterprises on any of her reports, or the University of Alabama as being her husband’s client.

 

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