A judge in Jefferson City expects to rule, perhaps Friday, on a request for a temporary restraining order against the Missouri Ethics Commission’s plan to hold closed hearings on "hardship" cases claimed by candidates who received campaign donations in excess of contribution limits and who are expected to return the excess money.

The request is from Representative Margaret Donnelly (D-St. Louis), a Democratic candidate for Attorney General, who spent more than two hours questioning a couple of Ethics Commission officials, including Executive Director Bob Connor, about private meetings and how other candidates and the public might learn the outcome of certain claims.

Connor says once the hearings are completed the outcome will be made known by the Commission in a public document. But he insists state law requires that the proceedings must be held in closed door sessions.

This exercise stems from the State Supreme Court ruling in which a new campaign finance law which effectively eliminated contribution limts was struck down.

Information provided by the Commission, through Donnelly’s questions, reveals at least 28 candidates or campaigns have requested hardship hearings. they will be held over three days: January 23rd, 24th, and 31st.

Download/Listen: Margaret Donnelly / Bob Connor (:38 MP3)