Campaigns

Rep. Joyce’s former treasurer embezzled nearly $80,000 from his campaign, per letter

Rep. David Joyce, R-Ohio, believes his former campaign treasurer embezzled more than $80,000 from his campaign committee coffers. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. David Joyce’s campaign believes his former treasurer embezzled more than $80,000 from its committee coffers from 2015 to 2018, the campaign wrote in a letter to the Federal Elections Commission last week.

Cleveland.com first reported on the letter.

The Ohio Republican’s campaign told the FEC in the letter that an investigator from Geauga County confirmed bank camera film that showed the former campaign treasurer, current Highland Heights, Ohio, mayor Scott Coleman, withdrawing thousands of dollars that he was not authorized to tap from ATMs.

Coleman is expected to resign as mayor of the Cleveland suburb whose government he has led since 2004, Cleveland.com reported.

Joyce’s campaign committee “has recently obtained information that strongly suggests it is the victim of financial malfeasance and misappropriation of funds,” its attorney, Benjamin L. Ginsberg, told Cleveland.com in a statement.

The committee is “committed to working with law enforcement to ensure that those responsible are held to account and with the FEC to correct any erroneous filings about the campaign’s finances as quickly as possible,” Ginsberg said.

Joyce began having suspicions, according to the letter to the FEC, when Coleman repeatedly delayed handing over records to a new campaign treasurer. When he finally did, they did not include bank statements.

When the Geauga County prosecutor subpoenaed Coleman’s bank statements, the new campaign committee treasurer, Natalie Baur, noticed inconsistencies with Coleman’s reported campaign expenses and contribution amounts from donors.

Though the campaign books appeared balanced, it appeared Coleman had for years skimmed money off the top by overcharging for his expenses on FEC filings.

Joyce’s campaign said it will do everything in its power to correct the filings affected by the alleged criminal activity, including cooperating with local and federal law enforcement.

Joyce has represented Ohio’s 14th District since 2013.

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