Ex-Congressman: Accused killer wrote campaign checks to himself
Posted April 26, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Former Congressman Brad Miller said Friday that his campaign bank account has been frozen after it was determined that the man charged with killing a former campaign aide this week was writing checks to himself.
Jamie Hahn, 29, died at WakeMed Hospital on Wednesday morning, two days after she was stabbed in her north Raleigh home.
Raleigh police say Jonathan Wayne Broyhill, a longtime friend of Hahn and her husband, Nation Hahn, stabbed the couple at their 1705 Tealwood Place home. Nation Hahn, 27, was treated at WakeMed and released.
Police haven't said what might have led to the stabbings, but Miller said campaign attorney John Wallace began asking questions about campaign finances last week after finding a letter about problems on the Federal Elections Commission's website.
Jamie Hahn founded political fundraising firm Sky Blue Strategies and was hired by Miller in 2010 to work on his campaign. Broyhill was a firm employee and managed the campaign's finances.
After combing through hundreds of pages of records, WRAL News identified nearly $20,000 in what appear to be fictitious expenditures – campaign checks that Broyhill reported sending to people who say they never received them.
Checks totaling nearly $16,000 were reported as refunds to five donors in April 2012. All five donors have confirmed they never received the money.
Another $3,000 in phantom checks were written to two political committees and the North Carolina Museum of Art. Those, too, were never received.
Miller said Wednesday that Jamie Hahn recently learned of issues with Broyhill's management and had planned to ask him to hand over the campaign's checks and bank records. Miller said then he didn't know if that conversation ever happened.
Jamie Hahn's stepfather, Marion Funderburk, told WRAL News on Thursday that she did confront Broyhill about financial irregularities in the campaign.
"Jamie was suspicious of him embezzling money," Funderburk said. "She had a talk with him, and apparently he just lost it."
Miller said he reviewed the campaign books at PNC Bank on Friday. The account has a negative balance, with at least two checks to vendors bouncing in the last three weeks, he said.
As of the campaign's latest report, filed on April 15, the campaign reported having a balance of $62,914.52.
"It does appear that Jon simply wrote checks to himself," Miller said. "Right now, the bank account is evidence in a murder investigation. We told them to put a red flag on the account and shut it down."
Police also have a search warrant to access email accounts for Broyhill and Jamie Hahn, he said.
The campaign was spending tens of thousands of dollars a month last year, even after Miller announced he would not run for re-election.
"I was aware the campaign was spending far more money that it should have. I was asking them to figure out how to ratchet that down," he said Miller. "I thought the campaign was in hibernation. It was inactive."
Because Broyhill worked for Hahn's firm Sky Blue Strategies, and not the Miller campaign, there would have been no reason for the campaign to have been writing checks to Broyhill directly.
"We obviously will do a very thorough investigation of our books and will be filing amended (campaign finance) reports for at least five quarters as soon as the police release the accounts," he said.
WRAL News also learned Friday that Broyhill has had a history of money problems. Eight years ago, he filed for bankruptcy after running up more than $32,400 in debt, mostly through charge cards and payday loans. He was 23 years old at the time.
It's unclear if Jamie Hahn knew about his past money problems when she hired him.
Broyhill, 31, is recovering at WakeMed from injuries that police say were self-inflicted. He is charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.
Broyhill's family has declined to comment.