February 8th, 2009
05:09 PM ET
12 years ago

Payments to sister's company were 'legitimate,' Steele says

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/08/art.steelelogo0208.gi.jpg caption="RNC chairman Michael Steele responded Sunday to a recent Washington Post report."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) – New Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele said Sunday that payments to his sister’s company by his 2006 Senate campaign were proper.

Steele’s former finance chairman alleged in documents provided to federal prosecutors that Steele arranged for his Senate campaign to pay tens of thousands of dollars to a company owned by his sister, according to a report by the Washington Post published Saturday.

Alan B. Fabian, the former Steele aide, alleged that the company never performed any services for the campaign in exchange for the money and the Post reported that the company was defunct at the time the payment was made.

“It was a legitimate reimbursement of expenses, Steele told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday. “If my sister had not been reimbursed, I and she would have been in violation of McCain-Feingold finance law,” Steele added.

“Those allegations were leveled by a convicted felon who was trying to get a reduced sentence on his conviction,” Steele said of Fabian.

Steele told Stephanopoulos that the payment was made to reimburse his sister’s company at a time when her lawyers were in the process of dissolving the company.

The Post also reported that Fabian made other allegations of questionable transactions involving Steele’s campaign funds in an effort to obtain leniency in plea negotiations on unrelated fraud charges. Fabian was sentenced to 9 years in prison.

Steele denied any wrongdoing on ABC’s “This Week.”

“It’s all false,” Steele said Sunday.

As the newly elected RNC chairman, raising millions of dollars for the national party will be one of Steele’s primary responsibilities.

“I want to clear my good name,” Steele said, adding that he will provide information to the FBI about Fabian’s allegations. “This is not the way I intend to run the RNC with this over my head. We’re going to dispense with it immediately.”

Filed under: Extra • Michael Steele
soundoff (174 Responses)
  1. Simmy

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Talk about someone else – someone else is gonna talk about you. Sweep around your own front door first.

    February 8, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Charles Pray

    Why doesn't the media explain what services his sister provided, when were they provided, how much of his campiagn funds were used for his post election political activities, and etc, and etc.?

    February 8, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. jaye

    Sorry Mr. Steele....I simply don't believe you.
    Just another crook.

    February 8, 2009 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  4. Dave

    Paid for what kind of services? Steele did not indicate what his sister provided.

    February 8, 2009 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  5. Dakota

    Michael Steele should resign.

    February 8, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  6. Sandy

    Oh my. A politician doing something sleazy. I'm shocked.

    February 8, 2009 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  7. cheesehead

    Is there anyone left who is honest????????

    February 8, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  8. ben

    "Steele told Stephanopoulos that the payment was made to reimburse his sister’s company at a time when her lawyers were in the process of dissolving the company."

    According to Stehpanopoulos, the company had actually been dissolved 11 months prior to the payments.

    February 8, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. oaz

    And this guy is the DNC chair for how long now? Republicans have started to amuse me now

    February 8, 2009 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  10. Juge

    WOW GEE WHIZ Now how about that!!!!!!!!!

    February 8, 2009 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  11. ben

    I sure am glad this guy's in charge of the purse strings over at the RNC.

    According to the Washington Post, "Over the years, money trouble has been a persistent problem for Steele. His first race for public office, a 1998 bid for the Republican nomination for state comptroller, ended nearly $35,000 in debt, much of it to his sister [which is strangely similar to the $37,000 the campaign paid her after her company went under]. He was fined twice by state officials for missing deadlines to file campaign finance reports and was in debt and had faced foreclosure in 2001, the year before he was selected as Ehrlich's running mate. The state party threw Steele a financial lifeline, awarding him an unusual $30,000 consulting contract."

    February 8, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. luan isuffi

    Yah ,Yah we know this game.
    we had it for 8 years.This is another example of arrogant, incompetent
    and perverted GOP.
    all those Bush era MORONS shoul go!!

    February 8, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  13. Awaiting Moderation, Again

    Michael Steele has been a regular guest on Real Time With Bill Maher in the past, and I hope it continues.

    Maher has never had a dancer on his show before, but if Steele shows up that will change – QUICKLY!!!

    February 8, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  14. Seattle Sue

    Are all politicians thieves and crooks? It sure sure seems to be a fact that a lot of them are. I think the Republicans are ahead of Democrats in being crooks and liars.

    February 8, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  15. Mike Dallas

    Well now we know why the token Steele was elected as head of the RNC!

    He has the needed corrpution to necessary to help put money in the repub coffers and how to dole it out.

    February 8, 2009 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. Oliver

    Steele, you are just another thief like most republicans. I hope you run for office together with sarah palin so I can laugh at your campaign and all of those dinosaurs from the GOP.

    GOP- the party of the dinosaurs.

    February 8, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. CA Indie for Obama

    His sister's company was defunct and not operating at the time of the payment. How does that make it legit????????????????

    February 8, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. Uncle Steele

    He's a liar and should step down. Let the Republicans get another black face. That will be easy, there are other lapdogs, like Steele, waiting to be pcked.

    February 8, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  19. Pierre Podo

    Micheal just Said ,
    'If my sister had not been reimbursed, I and she would have been in violation of McCain-Feingold finance law,” Steele added.

    I would add that he already breached the Law. But Payed to cover up?
    Pierre Podo

    February 8, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  20. AL

    Hi MIKE:

    YOU just do not get it. NO "white boy" in their RIGHT mind wanted this job and YOU and the other black guy Ken Blackwell chose to STICK your neck out for the REPUGS. Now, you will be HUNG out to DRY and YOU will get the blame.

    YOU just do not get it. One day you WILL

    February 8, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  21. MICK in MESA

    Another repuglicon hypocrite from the "Party of No"...

    February 8, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  22. Bob Weaver

    Yeah, Michael, I bet. Saw your phony baloney on George's show this A.M. and wait until the Post gets back on your track. What's your next job?

    February 8, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. Tulsa L

    Wouldn't surprise me if this guy isn't just as crooked as the rest of the GOP , wonder if they vetted this man? Probably about as good as they vetted Palin........

    February 8, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. Lonnie, GA

    I hope they rake him over the coals.

    February 8, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  25. Alicia

    Steele is the REAL DEAL. I mean he truly is a Republican! I thought he was just a token Uncle Tom....with the Hip Hop stuff and all. NOW, I know with this cheating with money, he is for real. LOL

    He is the most horrendous ever. Gee, the Repubs put a Black dude to go against our new Black President? Then, they think the rest of the Black folk will think like wow man, those Republicans are Hip HOP Hooray! Maybe Graham will be break dancing at the next Republican Convention, considering there are too many Black faces in the crowd.

    Word, Steele! Peace...............out!

    February 8, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
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