RNC Chief Sacks Staff; Feds Probe His 2006 Race

Steele accused of misusing 2006 campaign funds
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 7, 2009 10:52 AM CST
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele, center, is congratulated by supporters after being elected the first black Republican National Committee chairman, Jan. 30, 2009 in Washington.    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – New RNC chief Michael Steele is quickly making headlines, but not exactly of the good-news sort. The Post reports that he's laid off practically all of the RNC staff, a not-too-startling development given the GOP's big election losses, but one that forces him to start from scratch as the party tries to hold its own against the Obama administration. Steele also is facing allegations of financial shady business related to his 2006 Senate race.

His finance chairman from that campaign—seeking leniency on unrelated charges—told federal agents that Steele used campaign cash to pay for services never rendered by his sister’s business. A Steele rep said agents had contacted his sister but called the charges nonsense. “It's from, what, a convicted felon? And it has no substantiation in fact,” he said.