Feinstein told the Federal Election Commission that her campaign lost about $4.5 million because of Durkee’s embezzlement scheme.
“Rather than confront an employee who made a mistake, or fire them, Ms. Durkee paid the fines. She had a very difficult time laying off incompetent employees and continued to employ individuals who were not able to adequately perform the jobs,” her attorney wrote.
Durkee faced challenges in her personal life as well. Her husband of nearly 30 years, John Forgy, has been unemployed for more than a decade. He was a caregiver for his elderly parents, both of whom are now deceased. Some of the siphoned funds were used to pay for routine expenses such as an assisted-living facility for Durkee’s mother, the mortgage on their home and credit card charges.
“Although she initially intended to replace the funds, over time, she lost track of the amount she needed to replenish and it spiraled out of control,” her attorney wrote.
When Durkee was interviewed by FBI agents in September of last year, she admitted to the transgressions. Since then, she has cooperated with government authorities as they attempt to recover what they can in order to repay her clients.
Durkee agreed to hand over roughly $90,000 from a retirement account, and the building where her firm was once located will be auctioned off on Friday. Any proceeds will go into a fund for her victims.
Because there is no parole in the federal system, Durkee will serve at least 85 percent of her 8-year-and-1-month sentence. During that time, she will pay restitution of $25 per quarter.
Feinstein’s re-election campaign told the Federal Election Commission that $4.5 million was missing from its accounts. Linda T. Sánchez reported that about $322,000 is gone, Davis was hit with a $160,000 loss, and Loretta Sánchez is out about $125,000, according to filings.
Attorneys representing Feinstein’s re-election campaign earlier this year asked the FEC whether it could re-solicit donors who had already contributed the maximum amount permitted by law in order to replace the missing funds. The commission decided that if the checks were never cashed, the campaign could ask for another contribution but if the funds were deposited but misappropriated, the campaign could not.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.