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A Democratic congressional candidate in Ohio and former co-chair of Sen. Bernie Sanders’, I-Vt., failed 2020 presidential campaign has railed against corruption in her campaign but her political director is under investigation for misusing his own campaign cash.
Former Democratic Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner has made herself out as someone dedicated to rooting out “the corrupting force of big money” in American politics.
However, in that vein, the former Sanders campaign co-chair has a minor problem on her hands: her political director is under investigation for his misuse of over $134,000 in campaign cash over the course of four years.
Newbury Heights Mayor Trevor Elkins serves as the political director for Turner’s congressional campaign. Elkins admitted to misusing $134,100 in campaign funds for personal expenses between 2015 and 2019 and was recently referred for prosecution by the Ohio Elections Commission.
The Ohio Elections Commission voted 5-2 to move forward for prosecution, with Republican Commissioner D. Michael Crites calling Elkins’ use of the funds “probably the most egregious and blatant violation I’ve seen during my tenure on this commission.”
“I disagree with it, and having said that, I have accepted responsibility for violating the rule because I didn’t know it,” Elkins said after the decision in April, according to The Plain Dealer, a Cleveland newspaper. “And there’s not much to say beyond that. It’s just unfortunate that that’s the conclusion that they came to.”
Elkins said he did not know his actions were illegal until pointed out to him and has paid back the money used from his campaign debit card. The Ohio mayor used the funds for personal expenses 650 times over the course of four years.
Additionally, Elkins set up a political consulting firm his campaign paid $8,400 to and, according to Federal Elections Commission filings, Elkins donated $1,500 to Turner’s campaign this year while working for the campaign.
The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office is taking up the case while the FBI has also been regularly looking over Elkins’ campaign finance reports filed since October 2019.
The case took off after the elections board in Cuyahoga County flagged irregularities between Elkins’ account spending and the balances he reported.
Turner is gunning for the House seat formerly held by Marcia Fudge, who left Congress to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Biden administration.
Turner’s campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.
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