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Maryland: Steele defends payment to dissolved company

The Washington Post reports: Michael S. Steele, the new chairman of the Republican National Committee, said yesterday that there was nothing improper in a payment of more than $37,000 to his sister's company for work on his 2006 Senate campaign and that he would work with the FBI "to clear up my good name." ...

Campaign records indicate that $37,262 paid to Brown Sugar Unlimited covered catering and Web services. But it came 11 months after Turner, a pediatrician who lives in Potomac, had legally dissolved the company.

In the ABC interview, Steele said that not paying his sister for her work would have been a violation of campaign finance law. He criticized The Post for publishing a story where "there is no story" and said he provided receipts to prove the expenses were legitimate. On Friday, a spokesman for Steele provided a receipt for catering costs totaling almost $15,000 for two events, about half the total. The spokesman said they were searching for receipts to document the rest.

When asked about the timing of the payment, after Turner had dissolved the company, Steele told host George Stephanopoulos:

"That, I don't know about. What I do know about is the fact that, as she understood it, the company was still in existence. Her lawyers were telling her they were in the process of dissolving the company, so at the time when the checks were written back to her to reimburse her, she just said, 'Go ahead and write the checks to the company,' because the company had, you know, done the services that were provided." -- Steele Defends Payment to Sister - washingtonpost.com

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