WASHINGTON (CNN) – Tim Griffin, the former U.S. Attorney and Karl Rove aide now running for Congress in Arkansas, has "scaled back" his relationship with his own political consulting firm because of his campaign, according to an aide.
But Griffin has not completely cut his ties with the firm, which has recently taken in tens of thousands of dollars from at least one other Republican office-seeker.
The Bush administration veteran, who was once described by the late columnist Robert Novak as "a leading practitioner of opposition research," founded his Little Rock-based firm in 2007 after resigning his post as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. Griffin's tenure with the Justice Department was rocky - questions surfaced as to whether Rove urged the dismissal of Griffin's predecessor and other U.S. Attorneys for political reasons.
Griffin, who also has a law firm in Little Rock, announced his bid to challenge Democrat Rep. Vic Snyder last month. Before jumping into the race, his firm, Griffin Public Affairs LLC, took in three payments totaling more than $30,000 from the campaign of Gresham Barrett, the South Carolina GOP congressman now running for governor in that state.
Emily Wood, a spokesman for Griffin, said the Republican "still has Griffin Public Affairs, LLC, but has scaled back his work because of his congressional campaign." She said the firm "generally provides communications and policy services," but does not disclose details of its work for clients.
Melanie Sloan, the executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said there is nothing improper about doing consulting work for other candidates while also running for office.
Barrett spokesman B.J. Boling told CNN that the payments to Griffin's firm were for "policy research and backgrounders." Barrett is currently in the middle of a tough five-way fight for the South Carolina GOP gubernatorial nomination.
Wood, the spokesman for Griffin, confirmed that the firm did work for Barrett but is no longer doing so.
According to the Barrett campaign's most recent financial disclosure, the campaign made three payments to Griffin's firm this summer: $9,375 on July 1; $23, 871 on July 7; and $3,537.50 on August 6. The July 7 payment was the Barrett campaign's largest expenditure of the third quarter reporting period.