Democrat congressional candidate Aftab Pureval has given up his attempt to delay a hearing into allegations that he mismanaged campaign funds.
Pureval’s attorneys had asked the Ohio Supreme Court to delay the hearing, set for Nov. 1 before the Ohio Elections Commission, until after the midterms. But on Monday afternoon his attorneys filed a motion to withdraw the request and their motion was approved by the high court.
The Nov. 1 hearing will now go on as scheduled, five days before Election Day.
Pureval, a well-funded candidate who has benefited from money flowing from California Democrats and other liberals seeking a “blue wave,” is challenging Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-01) for the seat he has held for 22 years.
Cincinnati-area attorney Mark Miller filed a complaint against Pureval with the Ohio Elections Commission, which held a preliminary hearing several weeks ago and found sufficient evidence to warrant a full hearing on Nov. 1.
Miller alleges that Pureval used money donated by his mother to his county clerk-of-courts campaign to pay for services rendered to his congressional campaign. If that’s indeed what happened, Pureval would be guilty of a felony and could face fines and possible jail time.
At issue is a $16,400 check written to a Washington, D.C. polling firm and a $360 check written to a photographer who took photos at Pureval’s congressional campaign announcement on Jan. 31, 2018.
Adding to the nefarious nature of the payments was the fact that Pureval’s campaign manager, Sarah Topy, asked Hamilton County Board of Elections Deputy Director Sally Krisel to black out the memo line of the checks, which stated the purpose of the payment. For her role in the scandal, Krisel was disciplined earlier this month by the Board of Elections, which took away two weeks of her vacation time.
Pureval’s attorneys had argued that the Ohio Elections Commission hearing shouldn’t proceed because Miller had no personal knowledge of the spending, arguing that the complaint would be more suited to a hearing before the Federal Election Commission.
The Tenth District Court of Appeals disagreed, so Pureval appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court. Then, in an unexpected move, his attorneys asked to dismiss the request Monday, saying they “do not desire to advance this particular legal action at this time,” The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.
Pureval’s attorneys filed another motion with the Ohio Elections Commission, saying Pureval and his campaign manager were too busy to attend Thursday’s hearing. That request is still pending, The Enquirer reports.
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.