News · Press Release

Longtime Chabot Aide Goes Missing While Chabot’s Story Unravels

As Chabot tried to play the victim, his lawyers threw the father of his longtime aide under the bus. Now Jim Schwartz Sr. is speaking out.

Something is rotten in the Queen City.

Monday’s blockbuster Cincinnati Enquirer report unveiled key new details on the scandal dogging Congressman Steve Chabot and giving heartburn to the entire Hamilton County GOP:

  1. After his social media was scrubbed, Congressman Steve Chabot’s longtime political guru, Jamie Schwartz, is nowhere to be found.
  2. Chabot’s lawyers are pinning blame on Schwartz’s father: Jim Schwartz Sr.
  3. The elder Schwartz denied the claims made by Chabot’s lawyers about him.

Last week, Congressman Chabot’s lawyers raced to get ahead of rumors swirling around Cincinnati, attempting to portray Chabot as a “victim” before accusing an unnamed “campaign treasurer” of financial misfeasance.

As we noted then, their decision to pin blame on his campaign treasurer, Jim Schwartz Sr., was curious… especially since “the investigation into the missing money is believed to focus on Schwartz Sr.’s son, Jamie Schwartz,” as now reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

But on Monday, Chabot’s lawyers doubled down, naming Jim Schwartz Sr. as Chabot’s campaign treasurer and telling the Cincinnati Enquirer that all compliance work was done “with his review and approval.”

Either way, the father and son duo have deep, longstanding and well-known ties to Chabot. Schwartz and his son have served as Chabot’s campaign treasurer, deputy chief of staff, spokesman, campaign manager and finance director. To this point, Chabot has steered more than $2 million to the Schwartzes’ Cincinnati-based companies: Fountain Square Group and Prime Media.

Cincinnati Enquirer: Steve Chabot’s campaign treasurer didn’t know he was treasurer

By Scott Wartman

September 9, 2019

It came as news to James Schwartz Sr. that he was U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot’s campaign treasurer.

Schwartz Sr., a jeweler in Bridgetown, released a statement Monday saying he’s never been treasurer of Chabot’s campaign.

This despite the Federal Election Commission listing him as treasurer since 2011.

“I am not, nor have I ever been, the treasurer of the Steve Chabot for Congress campaign,” Schwartz Sr. said in the statement. “I have never served the campaign in any official capacity.”

Chabot’s campaign finances have come under scrutiny after Chabot’s campaign attorney last week announced money had been misappropriated and that the Republican congressman from Westwood was the victim of a “financial crime.”

The investigation into the missing money is believed to focus on Schwartz Sr.’s son, Jamie Schwartz. Jamie Schwartz is Chabot’s longtime advisor and campaign manager.

Jamie Schwartz has not been able to be reached for comment.

Located at his jewelry shop, his father told The Enquirer last week he has no idea why he was listed as treasurer and declined further comment.

In the statement, Schwartz Sr. said he was only recently made aware of his name being used for Chabot’s campaign.

Yet the FEC has sent letters addressed to him and mailed to Chabot’s office on Harrison Avenue from 2013 to 2018. The most recent letter, sent Aug. 27, was addressed to Jim Schwartz at his son’s political consulting firm, Fountain Square Group.

The FEC, in the Aug. 27 letter, questioned the math on the campaign’s reports.

The FEC official wanted to know why there was an increase in receipts of $123,625.72 in the amended report for the first quarter of 2019.

The letter asked Schwartz to clarify why the money was not disclosed in the original report.

Chabot’s campaign attorney, Mark Braden, sent a statement Monday saying they thought Schwartz Sr. was the treasurer and his son managed the compliance work.

“As far as the campaign was aware, James Schwartz Sr. has been the treasurer since 2011 and Jamie Schwartz managed the compliance work with his review and approval,” Braden said. “We are reaching out to the FEC to clarify this issue.”

Schwartz Sr. told The Enquirer last week he didn’t know where his son is, other than he’s no longer with Chabot’s campaign.

“He’s no longer doing that, so he’s doing a lot of running around right now,” Schwartz Sr. said. “I couldn’t tell you where he’s at.”

No one has been charged with any crime. Calls to the U.S. Attorney’s office in Cincinnati have not been returned.


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