A political consultant and former aide to Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal charges tied to two schemes involving the misuse of federal and local campaign funds initiated by “a long-time friend and former employer.”
In announcing the plea obtained from Gregory Naylor, 66, the Justice Department identified that friend only as “Elected Official A.”
But some of the wrongdoing that Naylor has pleaded guilty to””as described Wednesday in a statement by prosecutors””occurred at a time when he was an adviser to Fattah’s 2007 mayoral bid in Philadelphia. Additionally, some of the misused funds are described as coming from not only a “local campaign fund,” but also the official’s “federal campaign election committee.”
There was no immediate comment from Fattah’s office in Washington. The 10-term Democratic congressman is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
Fattah himself acknowledged in a letter in March to Speaker John Boehner that he had been subpoenaed for documents. And Fattah’s lawyer told The Philadelphia Inquirer last year that federal investigators have been probing his finances for years.
The word of Naylor’s pleas come after the congressman’s son, Chaka Fattah Jr., was charged in April with fraud and filing false tax returns.
The first scheme to which Naylor has pleaded guilty is described in the announcement Wednesday as involving the theft of federal grant funds and private charitable funds to repay an illegal campaign debt incurred by the unnamed official “during a 2007 campaign for elected office.”
The second scheme, according to the Justice Department announcement, involved using federal and local campaign funds “to pay down portions of the college debt of Elected Official A’s son.”
“Some of the payments originated directly from the local campaign fund, and some were illegally sourced from Elected Official A’s federal campaign election committee and pass through the local campaign fund account to Naylor,” the announcement says.
That statement goes on to specify that Naylor made about $22,000 in improper payments between August 2007 and April 2011 “at Elected Official A’s request.”
Naylor also falsely claimed on IRS forms that the payments toward the college debt were earned income to Elected Official A’s son for services rendered as an independent contractor to Naylor’s consulting firm, the announcement says.
“Specifically, Naylor was aware that large amounts of money from an unexplained source were being spent on Elected Official A’s campaign, and Naylor helped to conceal the source of those funds by preparing a false invoice for services rendered by his consulting firm.”
Naylor also is described as having later learned “that Elected Official A and others orchestrated the theft of federal grant funds to repay the outstanding balance of the campaign debt, and he agreed to the falsification of campaign finance reports to further conceal Election Official A’s activities.”
Naylor pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to federal agents and “misprision of a felony” in connection with his attempts to conceal the two campaign-finance-related fraudulent schemes. Sentencing has been set for Dec. 2.
What We're Following See More »
President Obama became a surprise topic of contention toward the end of the Democratic debate, as Hillary Clinton reminded viewers that Sanders had challenged the progressive bona fides of President Obama in 2011 and suggested that someone might challenge him from the left. “The kind of criticism that we’ve heard from Senator Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans, I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama,” she said. “Madame Secretary, that is a low blow,” replied Sanders, before getting in another dig during his closing statement: “One of us ran against Barack Obama. I was not that candidate.”
It’s all about the 1% and Wall Street versus everyone else for Bernie Sanders—even when he’s talking about race relations. Like Hillary Clinton, he needs to appeal to African-American and Hispanic voters in coming states, but he insists on doing so through his lens of class warfare. When he got a question from the moderators about the plight of black America, he noted that during the great recession, African Americans “lost half their wealth,” and “instead of tax breaks for billionaires,” a Sanders presidency would deliver jobs for kids. On the very next question, he downplayed the role of race in inequality, saying, “It’s a racial issue, but it’s also a general economic issue.”
It’s been said in just about every news story since New Hampshire: the primaries are headed to states where Hillary Clinton will do well among minority voters. Leaving nothing to chance, she underscored that point in her opening statement in the Milwaukee debate tonight, saying more needs to be done to help “African Americans who face discrimination in the job market” and immigrant families. She also made an explicit reference to “equal pay for women’s work.” Those boxes she’s checking are no coincidence: if she wins women, blacks and Hispanics, she wins the nomination.
Under pressure from a judge, the State Department will release about 550 of Hillary Clinton’s emails—“roughly 14 percent of the 3,700 remaining Clinton emails—on Saturday, in the middle of the Presidents Day holiday weekend.” All of the emails were supposed to have been released last month. Related: State subpoenaed the Clinton Foundation last year, which brings the total number of current Clinton investigations to four, says the Daily Caller.