Authorities are investigating whether someone stole more than $100,000 from Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot’s reelection fund, according to his campaign’s lawyer.
“Congressman Chabot was shocked and deeply disappointed to be informed yesterday afternoon that his campaign committee may be the victim of financial malfeasance and misappropriation of funds,” Mark Braden said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
Braden appeared to suggest in his statement that Chabot’s campaign committee treasurer could be responsible for the alleged malfeasance.
“Unfortunately, the misappropriation of funds by some campaign treasurers has been far too common an occurrence over the years,” he said.
Jamie Schwartz is Chabot’s current campaign treasurer. In April, Schwartz filed an amended first-quarter report for 2019 that disclosed an increase in receipts totaling $123,625.72 from the original report, according to a letter from the Federal Election Commission dated Aug. 27.
The FEC asked Schwartz to clarify that discrepancy by Oct. 1.
Calls to Schwartz’s office at Prime Media, a Cincinnati-based political advertising firm that he co-founded, were not immediately returned.
“Chabot for Congress is prepared to fully cooperate and assist both law enforcement and the Federal Election Commission to ensure that those responsible are held to account and to correct any inaccurate filings about the campaign’s finances as quickly as possible if any occurred,” Braden said in his statement.
The former treasurer for Rep. David Joyce, another Ohio Republican, pleaded guilty last week to grand theft charges that he embezzled more than $150,000 from Joyce's reelection fund.
Scott Coleman faces a maximum 18-month prison sentence but is expected to get six to eight weeks.
Chabot won reelection to Ohio’s 1st District last year by just 4 points, and political experts have speculated since that the 11-term congressman could retire at the end of his current term.
Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.