Mandel Refuses To Answer 3 Basic Questions About FBI Investigation Over Shady Campaign Cash

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Mandel Refuses To Answer 3 Basic Questions About FBI Investigation Over Shady Campaign Cash

Shamed Into Returning All $105k, Mandel Stonewalling On When He First Learned Of Investigation

COLUMBUS, OHIO – Several days after being shamed into returning $105,000 in questionable campaign contributions, absentee Treasurer Josh Mandel still refuses to answer questions about when he first learned of the FBI investigation and why he didn’t return the shady contributions right away.

Josh Mandel must answer the following questions:

1.   When did the FBI first make Josh Mandel aware of the investigation?

2.   Why did Mandel wait to return the contributions only after the FBI investigation was made public?

3.   As publicly stated, did Mandel solicit the donations that are now under investigation?

“There are serious questions about the FBI investigation that Josh Mandel is connected to over his shady campaign cash, and he must end his refusal to answer basic questions about when he first learned of a federal investigation into shady campaign cash that he accepted, why he didn’t return the donations earlier, and whether or not he solicited the contributions,” said Sadie Weiner, spokesperson for Friends of Sherrod Brown. “After skipping every Board of Deposit meeting during his first year in office, hiring his political cronies for top jobs, and being shamed into returning over $100,000 in shady contributions, Josh Mandel appears to be cementing his reputation as a politician who can’t be trusted.”

BACKGROUND

Renacci’s Chief Of Staff Confirmed U.S. Attorney’s Office Contacted Campaign In January Or February.  In May 2012, The Canton Repository wrote “James Slepian, Renacci’s chief of staff, confirmed that the U.S. Attorney’s office, sometime around January or February, asked Renacci’s campaign treasurer for records of contributions and when they were made from Suarez employees.”  [Canton Repository,5/21/12]

Suarez Corp. President Claimed Mandel Requested Suarez Ask His Executives If They Would Donate.  In May 2012, The Canton Repository reported that Benjamin Suarez “said that, at the request of the campaigns of Renacci and Mandel, he asked his executives if they would be interested in donating.”  [Canton Repository, 5/21/12]

Suarez Asked Chief Financial Officer To Check If Employees Would Contribute To Mandel.  In May 2012, The Canton Repository wrote “At the request of Renacci and Mandel’s campaigns, Suarez said, he called [Chief Financial Officer] Giorgio and asked him to find out if any employees wanted to contribute to the campaigns.”  [Canton Repository, 5/24/12]

Mandel Returned Contributions After FBI Investigation Became Public.  In May 2012, the Toledo Blade reported “Ohio state Treasurer Josh Mandel, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, has returned $105,000 in campaign contributions that are under investigation by the FBI for possible campaign finance violations.  The money came from the employees of a North Canton business and their spouses and had sparked questions because contributions were made by individuals who did not have a record of making campaign donations and who did not appear to have high incomes.” [Toledo Blade, 5/24/12]

Mandel Spokesman Would Not Respond To Questions About Why It Took So Long To Return The Contributions.  In May 2012, WSYX reported “A letter sent this week to 21 people affiliated with the same North Canton, Ohio business reveals that Treasurer and U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel will return $105,000 in campaign donations.”  WSYX continued, “A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, the democrat whom Madel is challenging, said the republican’s decision to return the contributions raises some ‘serious questions.’  ‘One, when did the FBI first contact Josh Mandel and let him know about the investigation? And whenever that was, why didn’t he return that money right away?’ said Friends of Sherrod Brown spokesman Justin Barasky.  Mandel spokesman Travis Considine did not respond to questions about timing, but he did point out that no one involved with Mandel campaign is under investigation by the FBI.”  [WSYX, 5/24/12]

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Paid for by Friends of Sherrod Brown