- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 5, 2017

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House attorney is warning lawmakers to look out for bribery attempts after a recent email from a solar power company official offered donations while referencing legislation.

The email, provided to The Associated Press, was sent to legislators by Serra-Lesa Ivener, the Missouri president for Hog Power Energy. She wrote that she’s making a list of pro-solar lawmakers for campaign donations and asked how they would vote on a bill to impose fees on people who generate their own solar energy. Hog Power Energy sells solar power equipment.

House counsel David Welch wrote in the email that such messages constitute “an offer of a benefit to a public servant in return for their vote on specific legislation and is a violation” of state bribery laws. He recommended lawmakers refuse donations.

Ivener told AP on Wednesday that she’s not an attorney, didn’t hire lobbyists and doesn’t know the rules.

“I am just an average Missouri constituent,” Ivener said. “I don’t know how else to get the attention of the Missouri Legislature. I don’t have time to go down to (Jefferson) City to go knock on everybody’s door.”

Ivener said she hasn’t cut any checks yet and doubts she will now. But she said some lawmakers told her they oppose the bill, and one asked her for a job.

The bill at hand passed the House 102-51 Monday. It’s pending in the Senate.

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