BY: Sam Curtis: It’s The Same Ole Schickardy!
After emerging victoriously in the election for chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele first offered his congratulations to President Obama with a follow up on it being an honor to spar with the new President. Mr. Steele punctuated his message by arrogantly asking “how do you like now”.
It appears that Mr. Steele has set himself too high. Instead of sparring with President Obama who is busy with the nation’s economic recovery, Mr. Steele is under investigation over an allegation that he made an improper payment to his sister’s company during his 2006 Senate run.
A check in the amount of $37,262.00 was made out to Monica Turner’s defunct Brown Sugar Unlimited catering and web service business after it had been dissolved.
Turner, a pediatrician and former wife of ex boxing champ Mike Tyson had legally dissolved the company some eleven months before the check was proffered.
Steele, who was Maryland’s lieutenant governor from 2003 to 2007, said the claim of improper payments to his sister’s defunct business and other allegations reported Saturday in The Washington Post were leveled by a “convicted felon” and are “all false.”
The man behind the allegations is Alan B. Fabian, a once-wealthy GOP fundraiser who was finance chairman for Steele’s Senate run. Fabian, 44, made the claims last year during plea negotiations with the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland after he was charged with orchestrating multimillion-dollar frauds unrelated to the campaign, according to a confidential court document.
Hoping prosecutors would recommend a lighter sentence, Fabian provided them with information about Steele and said he would be willing to testify against him, according to the document, a sentencing memorandum prepared by Fabian’s attorney and filed under seal in the fall before Fabian’s sentencing in federal court. The U.S. attorney’s office did not recommend a shorter prison term, and Fabian was sentenced in October to nine years behind bars.
The sealed document was inadvertently sent to The Post by the U.S. attorney’s office after the newspaper requested the government’s sentencing memorandum, which was not filed under seal.
In the defense memorandum, Fabian cited four specific transactions. In addition to the payment to Steele’s sister, Fabian said that the candidate used money from his state campaign improperly, that Steele paid $75,000 from the state campaign to a law firm for work that was never performed and that Steele or an aide transferred more than $500,000 in campaign cash from one bank to another without authorization.
Curt Anderson, a spokesman for Steele, said the payments from Steele’s state campaign fund were proper. In the case of the law firm, Baker & Hostetler, it was paid $75,000 for earlier work on a redistricting challenge in Maryland, according to Anderson and a lawyer who worked on the case. In the case of the bank transfer, Steele had authority over the account in question, Anderson said.
The payment to Steele’s sister was the focus over the weekend as the allegations were reported on the Sunday morning talk shows where Steele made appearances.
During Steele’s Senate campaign, Turner revealed in a campaign ad on her brother’s behalf that she suffers from multiple sclerosis.
Turner is also the ex-girlfriend of a renowned convicted drug kingpin named Eugene Byrd. Turner and Byrd are the parents of a daughter who was born 5 months before Byrd’s felony drug conviction. Turner’s relationship with Byrd who was married at the time, was prior to her marriage to Mike Tyson.
How do we like you now, Mr. Steele? It looks like the same ole schickardy, but a different butt hole named Michael Steele.