Last month, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that she was endorsing former Ohio county official Shontel Brown’s congressional bid.
However, Clinton’s stamp of approval was given despite an ongoing scandal stemming from allegations that Brown used her position of power for personal gain.
According to the Washington Examiner, Brown faces a possible ethics investigation over decisions she made while serving as a Cuyahoga County councilwoman.
Specifically, Brown voted to award government contracts valued at more than $17 million to the Perk Company, a firm that was owned at the time by her romantic partner, Mark Perkins.
What’s more, Brown was the recipient of some $13,000 worth of campaign contributions from Perkins’ family members, as well as the Perk Company’s current owners.
The Examiner noted that under Ohio law, Brown was prohibited from using her “office to secure authorization of any public contract in which the public official, a member of the public official’s family, or any of the public official’s business associates has an interest.”
That information came to light in an article published by The Intercept in April. However, the revelations didn’t prevent Clinton from offering Brown her powerful endorsement.
“Champion for working families”
The former secretary of state tweeted on June 16 that she was “proud” to support Brown’s effort to secure the Democratic nomination in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District.
“Shontel made history as the first Black woman to chair her county Dem party, and she’ll work to help her state and our country recover from COVID,” Clinton wrote while adding a link to Brown’s fundraising page.
Brown responding by tweeting that Clinton “is a champion for working families” who “has been an inspiration to me for decades.” The Democratic candidate added that she was “thrilled and honored that she endorsed our campaign for Congress.”
In endorsing Brown, Clinton sided against former Cleveland city councilwoman and Ohio state Senator Tina Turner (D), who at one point supported Clinton’s 2016 presidential run but later went on to back Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Kara Turrentine, Turner’s deputy campaign manager, sent an email to the Examiner in which she called the news about Brown “shocking,” adding that it raises “very serious ethical and legal questions.”