WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- Christine O'Donnell, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate from Delaware, broke election laws by misusing campaign funds, a Washington watchdog group alleges.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said Monday it has complained to the Delaware U.S. Attorney's Office and the Federal Election Commission, accusing O'Donnell of using campaign funds for personal living expenses.
CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a posting on the group's Web site O'Donnell committed the crime of conversion by misusing campaign funds and committed false statements by lying about expenditures in forms filed with the FEC. Sloan said O'Donnell committed tax evasion by failing to report campaign funds she misappropriated as income.
"Christine O'Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted," Sloan said. "Ms. O'Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: Thieves belong in jail, not the United States Senate."
The complaint is based, in part, on an affidavit provided by David Keegan, a former O'Donnell campaign aide. He alleges O'Donnell paid two months' rent out of campaign funds in 2009 and called the expenditures "expense reimbursements."
Keegan's affidavit says O'Donnell routinely used campaign funds for meals, gas and other items.
O'Donnel told reporters in Delaware Monday she has done nothing wrong, CNN reported.
"We have been ethical," she said. "We have not, I personally have not misused campaign funds."