(JustPatriots.com)- A Cuyahoga County Councilmember who is running in the Democrat special election primary for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District may be facing an ethics investigation just a week before the election.
The Intercept reported in April that Councilwoman Shontel Brown voted to award millions in county contracts to companies connected to both her romantic partner and her campaign donors.
Emails obtained by the Daily Poster revealed that the Ohio state auditor’s office reviewed the allegations made in the Intercept and recently referred the matter to the state ethics commission.
It is a violation of Ohio law for a public official to knowingly authorize or use their position or influence to secure public contracts in which the official, a family member, or any of the official’s business associates have an interest. Doing so is a felony that could carry a prison sentence.
According to the Intercept report, rather than recuse herself, Brown voted to approve more than $17 million in government contracts to the Perk Company which is run by her romantic partner Mark Perkins. In addition to her personal relationship with Perkins, Brown also received $13,000 in campaign donations from the Perkins family as well as the Perk Company’s current owners, the Cifani family.
Brown is challenging former Bernie Sanders surrogate Nina Turner in the Democrat primary for an open congressional seat. In recent weeks, Brown has received the backing of the Congressional Black Caucus PAC, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) and former 2016 Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton.
The high-powered endorsements are a clear example of the schism within the Democrat Party between the establishment Democrats and the Bernie Sanders wing. But in their effort to advance a candidate solely to stop a Bernie surrogate, the establishment Democrats have now hitched their wagon to a candidate under ethics investigation.
But they should be used to that.
When polling in June showed Nina Turner the overwhelming favorite to win, a flurry of well-connected establishment donors poured millions into Brown’s campaign to stop Turner’s rise. In turn, Brown has been using that windfall of campaign cash to go scorched-earth on her opponent.
Shontel Brown’s campaign has gotten so ugly, Walter Stewart, a city councilman in Cuyahoga County, publicly rescinded his endorsement of Brown over what he called “phony politics,” and “tit-for-tat negative campaigning.” Stewart then endorsed Brown’s opponent Nina Turner.