There are new developments in the allegations against Milo Republican Senator Kent Sorenson.
He is accused of unethically taking payments for working on former presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's 2012 Iowa campaign and in a separate criminal case he's accused of taking a database of contacts for a Christian home school group to use for the campaign.
Late Wednesday night, Sorenson released an affidavit where another staffer, Chris Dorr, said he accidentally accessed that list from the group, NICHE, not Sorenson. Dorr claimed he assumed the computer was the campaign's since it was out in the open and he got into the records.
Turns out, it was Barb Heki's personal computer full of NICHE's private membership information. Heki, who also worked for Bachmann, got fired from NICHE after the campaign accessed the list.
Heki, of Johnston, emailed Channel 13’s Dave Price Thursday saying she's relieved someone took responsibility for what happened.
However, she added, “anyone who infers that I ever gave anyone my personal computer for any reason, or used my personal file of the homeschool database to give information to anyone at any time, or that it was easily available to others, or unknown to them that it was off limits, needs to consider the consequences of perjury, as those are outright fabrications.”
Sorenson is also accused of taking nearly $50,000 from a Bachmann donor's firm as he worked as Bachmann's state co-chairman.
Senate ethics rules ban senators from taking payments from campaigns so that it doesn't appear like presidential candidates can gain their support through a job.
Sorenson denies he took the money, but claims he actually could have if he wanted to, since it wouldn't have come directly from a campaign.
So far, no other senator has made that claim, we asked the Republican Senate Leader Bill Dix if he thinks taking the money would have been allowed.
He kind of talked around the subject, never saying yes or no, but did add he might be open to clarifying the senate ethics rules later if the Sorenson claims deems it necessary.