Brown, a Republican who served part of a term as a senator from Massachusetts before losing his seat to Democrat Elizabeth Warren in 2012, is running against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in the Granite State this year. He had faced questions about his role as a senior advisor on the board of Global Digital Solutions, Inc., and the work he had done to earn the stock grant.
"I've already answered it for two days," Brown said to cameras as he climbed into his truck Wednesday morning. "We put out a statement." The questions continued, and Brown said, "I am not really sure what else to say."
By Wednesday afternoon, Brown's campaign sent out an email announcing his split from the company.
"It's clear from recent media reports that my continued role with the company would be an unnecessary and unwanted distraction," Brown said in the statement. "I want the people of New Hampshire to know they are my top priority. Therefore, I am resigning my advisory position with the company and relinquishing all my rights to the restricted stock that has been granted me, effective immediately."
A Boston Globe report uncovered Global Digital Solutions' questionable business practices: It was originally a beauty supply company founded in New Jersey, then rebranded itself as a wireless data company in California before moving to Florida where it began manufacturing firearms and gun technology. Although it's publicly traded, the company appears to have no revenue, products, trademarks or patents and works in a "virtual office" in West Palm Beach.
Brown, fending off questions, called Global Digital Solutions a "startup," going through transition. He originally joined its advisory board in September, supposedly to advise its merger with Airtronic USA Inc., which has since fallen through.