Democratic congressional candidate denies defrauding Catholic group

A candidate for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-South Pittsburg) is denying allegations he defrauded a progressive Catholic organization for which he once served as executive director.

Christopher Hale, who once ran the Washington-based Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, told the Catholic News Agency “the idea that I drove the organization into bankruptcy or defrauded it is just fundamentally not true. I kept the organization going.”

The comments were in response to allegations made by James Salt, a former board member, who said Hale “did a great disservice to everyone who has worked with him.”

Salt says Hale misled the board about financial records and once falsely told colleagues he was having surgery as a reason for missing work. Hale was fired in 2017 and the group was dissolved, Salt said, but not before allegedly making off with the organization’s mailing and donor lists he later used to start a new initiative called The Francis Project.

Hale told CNA he was not fired, but rather left on good terms to pursue “different adventures in life.”

Hale faces Noelle Bivens in Thursday’s Democratic primary.

See the full account here.

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