March 5th, 2012 2:28 pm | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: PDX Votes

Brady Returns Check From Convicted Felon

news2-elieenbrady_3813Eileen Brady - IMAGE:

Earlier this year, mayoral candidate Eileen Brady rejected a campaign contribution from former U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Ore.), who resigned office in 1995 over a sexual misconduct scandal. That was an awkward move, because Brady had personally solicited a contribution from Packwood's wife, the political consultant Elaine Franklin.

But while Packwood's money may not have been acceptable to Brady, her campaign disclosed on March 4 a $2,500 contribution from Lawrence Mendelsohn, a Southwest Portland investor who is a convicted felon.

If Mendelsohn's name is not immediately familiar to readers, it is more familiar federal law enforcement officials and labor union leaders. In the go-go 1990s and the early part of last decade, Mendelsohn was the business partner and top lieutenant to Andy Wiederhorn, who founded a Portland company called Wilshire Financial Services Group.

Wilshire got itself inextricably entangled with the now-defunct Portland pension fund manager Capital Consultants, LLC which carried out what has been termed the largest union pension-fund fraud in U.S. history.

Wiederhorn served time in federal prison after the Capital Consultants case unraveled, while Mendelsohn got a lighter punishment. Here's the federal Department of Labor's summary of his case:

"On May 24, 2004, in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon, Lawrence Mendelsohn, co-founder of Wilshire Financial Services, was sentenced to 18 months supervised probation with six months to be served as home detention under electronic monitoring. Mendelsohn was fined $10,000 and ordered to pay $105,454 in restitution. On November 21, 2003, Mendelsohn pled guilty to one count of filing a false income tax return. His conviction resulted from an investigation into the dissolution of Capital Consultants, LLC (CCL). CCL clients lost over $350 million, most of which came from union pension funds."

On Monday, Brady WW she was unaware of Mendelsohn's conviction.

"I didn't know that," she says. "Is it some kind of white-collar thing?"

She has asked her campaign staff to investigate.

Updated at 3:05 pm:

Brady says she will return Mendelsohn's check. "I'm sending his check back," she says. "It's the right thing to do."

Updated at 11:29 am on March 6:

Filings show Brady returned the check on March 5.

Learn more about the cash behind the campaigns at our PDX Votes Campaign Finance page.

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