After a year-long investigation, Federal authorities have arrested the campaign manager for former Representative Chris Shays. As WNPR's John Dankosky reports, Michael Sohn faces 12 counts of embezzling about $250,000 in campaign funds.
Chris Shays' 2008 campaign was a disappointment on many levels for the 21-year incumbent Republican. He finally lost his tenuous hold on the 4th Congressional district to Democrat Jim Himes.
Then, weeks later, a review of his campaign finances uncovered a series of irregularities. He turned the case over to federal investigators - and filed elections reports detailing nearly $150,000 in missing campaign money.
The reports showed more than $73,000 in unauthorized campaign checks made payable to Sohn and dozens of unauthorized ATM withdrawals totaling more than $58,000.
In July, Shays said the campaign also owed nearly $28,000 in unpaid payroll taxes from money that he said was siphoned off to cover up the embezzlement.
With all the charges added up, Sohn faces up to 48 years in prison, and fines of $2.5 million.
It was an ironic last chapter for Shays, who had long championed campaign finance reform. At the time of the allegations, he said "If true, the actions of this individual represent a betrayal of my campaign, its supporters and the very things I stand for."
He couldn't be reached for comment today.
For WNPR, I'm John Dankosky.