O’Donnell, campaign treasurer part; candidate names fifth of race

Associated Press / October 29, 2010

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WILMINGTON, Del. — Republican Christine O’Donnell has parted ways with yet another campaign treasurer and appointed her campaign manager to the position, making her the fifth since launching her bid for Senate last year.

Campaign finance specialists say the turnover is highly unusual and could raise questions at the Federal Election Commission about her financial reporting.

Campaign treasurers, which are required by the FEC, are legally responsible for the accuracy of spending and contribution reports. O’Donnell began with relatively small donations but has seen contributions pour in from around the country since winning the GOP primary last month.

“It doesn’t prove anything, but it would certainly raise a red flag with the FEC,’’ said Brett Kappel, a Washington, D.C., campaign finance lawyer. “Treasurers frequently quit when they think they’re going to be held personally liable for something.’’

Kappel noted that a watchdog group filed a complaint against the campaign last month over O’Donnell’s use of campaign money to pay the rent on her home, which doubles as a campaign office.

Two former staffer members have also accused O’Donnell of using campaign money for personal expenses.

The latest O’Donnell treasurer to leave is Sandra Taylor, who began in August and lasted less than two months. Campaign manager Matt Moran is now listed as treasurer in reports filed in early October.

Taylor could not be reached, and O’Donnell’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.