Former U.S. Congressman Christopher Shays has an e-mail out asking supporters to help him defray the cost of his continuing operation today:
It’s been many months since we shared the news that our campaign ended with a deficit because of embezzlement of funds by my campaign manager. The generosity of many friends and supporters has enabled us to pare the deficit down to less than $10,000. But this remaining amount still represents an important obligation that must be paid.
The message notes that the campaign maintains an office while they are sorting out the embezzlement case and going over the books from past campaigns.
Ultimately, the legal and auditing costs will exceed $200,000, which we expect will be covered through restitution. But since we don’t expect an indictment until the fall, we need your help both to eliminate the remaining deficit and to keep the campaign office open and functioning.
Supporters can contribute to the campaign to fund its ongoing operations.
The post-election season has been a terribly sad affair for the former Congressman. Michael Sohn, his campaign manager, had worked for Shays loyally on both his campaign and Congressional staff, and played a central role in the Shays universe.
While many have written off Mr. Sohn, a careful look at the FEC reports seems to suggest a far more muddled picture. Payments to credit card processing services, cell phone providers, and meal reimbursements seem to be lumped into “unauthorized expenditures” with the highly suspect cash withdrawals.
There are many more layers of this onion to be peeled – and none of them as clearly cut as one might otherwise believe.