The lawyer representing Sarah Chambers in the defamation lawsuit filed by Ohio Republican gubernatorial candidate Joe Blystone against Chambers after his former co-campaign manager gave the Ohio Elections Commission a 51-page compendium of campaign finance violations she witnessed told The Ohio Star Chambers intends to defend herself with the facts.
“She obviously had concerns of about how he was handling his campaign finance, which we’ve all learned a lot more since that initial filing because there have been others that have filed,” said Laura Mills, who joined Chambers’ legal team as a litigator after the defamation suit was filed.
The attorney for Sarah Chambers, the whistleblower, and former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone’s gubernatorial campaign, told The Ohio Star Blystone’s lawsuit filed Tuesday asking the court to order the Ohio Elections Commission to dismiss Chambers’ Oct. 28 51-page complaint against him is a futile and desperate exercise.
“The old saying is, if the facts are on your side, you pound the facts. If the law’s on your side, you pound the law. If neither the facts nor the law is on your side, you pound the table,” said Scott A. Pullins, the Mount Vernon lawyer, who has for many years represented candidates, campaigns and political action committees.
The attorney for Sarah Chambers, the former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone’s gubernatorial campaign, filed her first request for records in support of her campaign finance complaint against her former campaign under consideration by the Ohio Elections Commission.
Scott A. Pullins, the Mount Vernon lawyer representing Chambers, named Blystone, his wife and treasurer M. Jane Blystone, and Friends of Joe Blystone, the campaign committee as respondents.
The former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone’s gubernatorial campaign, who filed a complaint in October against that campaign, told The Star News Network she told two Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents Blystone mishandled cash contributions to his campaign, while they told her their probe into Blystone goes beyond his run for governor.
Sarah Chambers said she met with the FBI special agents Julie Becker and Blane Wetzel November 18 in the Columbus field office at or around 1 p.m. “They don’t conduct interviews over the phone; they want to meet in person.”
The whistleblower said the FBI agents were very prepared for her interview. They each had copies of her complaint with many of the pages highlighted, along with printouts of articles from The Ohio Star.
The complainant of the October 28 campaign finance complaint against Republican gubernatorial candidate Joseph K. Blystone told The Ohio Star she tried to convince Blystone to play by the rules before leaving the campaign.
“I had conversations about that, I would say at least five times personal conversations about that very thing, not only myself, but other leaders who I have emails from that I still have,” said Sarah Chambers, who joined the Blystone campaign in March and for the next four months served as the co-campaign manager.
“I emailed him concerns about: ‘Hey, how are we supposed to be doing campaign finance? How do donations work? What do we need to be keeping track of?’” she said.
“I really didn’t want to have to bring this complaint. It wasn’t my intention really to bring it, and I kind of just kept putting aside my own personal feelings and responsibility, just to tell the truth about what happened,” she said.
The campaign of Joe Blystone to take the GOP gubernatorial nomination from incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine has lost at least 15 county and regional leaders and a couple of headquarters staff since early July, many due to a what those leaving describe as a disorganized campaign and a disrespect candidate.