Manchester, New Hampshire (CNN) – GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney shrugged off a "mystery" $1 million donor controversy during a media availability Monday, saying the fact the supporter has publicly come forward should settle the matter.
The $1 million donation to a pro-Romney political action committee came from a shell organization established by a former colleague, Edward Conrad. Conrad stepped forward Friday to say he was the source of the funds.
"I think the whole controversy with regards to his contribution certainly sort of disappears when he came forward and said he was the contributor," Romney said Monday. "He's been a long-term business associate and friend of mine, a contributor in the past."
The pro-Romney PAC Restore Our Future accepted the donation from a corporation that appears to have been established solely for the purpose of funneling the one-time gift to support the former Massachusetts governor's reelection campaign. The story was first reported by NBC News.
Edward Conrad, a former official at Bain Capital, the private equity firm where Romney was a founder, said in a letter to the online news site Politico that he had donated the funds and had consulted lawyers to assure his gift was legal.
The discovery set off a firestorm of condemnation about loopholes in campaign finance rules that allow the shadowy movements of funds from big-money donors.
Romney said he did not regret the donation and that he had expected his friend to contribute.
"I sure was hoping he would make a contribution and was confident he would make a contribution," Romney said of Conrad. "He had every campaign in the past."
Conrad said he has requested campaign finance reports be amended to identify he was the donor.