FEC complaint alleges Dr. Fig campaign laundering campaign funds
An attorney who claims he has no official connection to any campaign in Florida’s 19th Congressional District filed a complaint against Dr. William Figlesthaler’s campaign Thursday.
Chris Brown, a Fort Myers defense attorney, said he decided to submit a complaint after hearing a radio interview with a man whose been seen assisting Figlesthaler at various events. Brown admits he’s a supporter of Casey Askar, but said the campaign has nothing to do with him filing the complaint.
“This appears to cross a line into a serious violation of campaign election laws,” Brown said.
The complaint alleges that Figlesthaler and a campaign staffer are conspiring to help another campaign staffer hide funds and evade creditors.
Rachael Schaff is the woman at the center of the allegations. Records show the Figlesthaler campaign paid her company more than $32,000 for consulting through March 2020.
But the Federal Election Commission complaint contends the campaign is funneling the money through Schaff to pay her boyfriend Matthew Hurley.
A judge ordered Hurley to pay investors from the failed Fort Myers Atrium project around $700,000. To date, the plaintiffs in that lawsuit have not been able to collect on the judgement. On June 20, their attorney filed a writ of garnishment with the Figlesthaler campaign and several other entities believed to be connected to Hurley.
On June 23, Hurley did an interview with Fox 92.5 radio host Trey Radel. In it, Radel questioned Hurley about his girlfriend’s connection to the campaign.
“Its suspicious one of the top -aid consultants on Fig’s campaign is a 25-year-old girl with zero political experience, and she just so happens to be your girlfriend. I’m sorry it doesn’t pass the smell test,” quipped Radel.
Hurley told Radel that his relationship with Schaaf was very private and took issue to the attacks on her ability to work on a political campaign.
“It’s almost offensive when campaigns and media go after her as she’s an uneducated individual,” said Hurley.
The Dr. Fig campaign released a statement in June that said Hurley had no official or financial connection to the campaign. Schaaf posted a video on Facebook where she said “the fake news media” wanted you to believe that “she didn’t exist”.
But, when Brown heard the interview on Radel’s show, he said it raised concerns leading him to ultimately file the complaint.
“It’s an honesty issue … Let’s face it, the person who wins the Republican primary will be (Southwest Florida’s) representative in Washington,” Brown said.
A spokesperson for the FEC said they cannot comment on complaints until investigations are concluded. As of publication, the commission had not yet received the complaint, which Brown said he submitted via FedEx.
Figlesthaler campaign response
The Figlesthaler campaign responded to WINK News via email and said:
“Dr. Figlesthaler, nor The William Figlesthaler for Congress Campaign, our council, accounting office or vendors have been notified of any FEC complaint being filed.
Should we be notified of any formal complaints, we will gladly comply with the FEC and share any and all campaign finance documents with them.