Johnson supporter seeks investigation
By David Skolnick
A U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson supporter, who is a retired Navy SEAL, is requesting the FBI conduct a criminal investigation into whether the congressman’s Democratic opponent made “false statements” in federal financial-disclosure forms and failed to file a recent required report.
Frank Hoagland of Belmont County said on a Tuesday conference call with Johnson, R-6th, that everyone should be held accountable to follow the law, and Charlie Wilson, the Democratic challenger, failed to disclose information.
Johnson, of Marietta, defeated Wilson, of St. Clairsville, in the 2010 election after the Democrat held the seat for four years. They are pitted against each other in this election. The 18-county 6th District includes all of Columbiana County and the southern portion of Mahoning County.
In addition to not filing his 2012 financial disclosure form with the U.S. House Ethics Committee, required for congressional candidates under federal law, Hoagland also accused Wilson of:
Failing to include required information on his holdings in IRA accounts worth between $1 million and $5 million.
Not properly disclosing his ownership amount in a privately held Wilson family company.
Failing to provide information about his real- estate holdings that aren’t his home. Wilson owns three commercial parcels of land in Belmont County and didn’t list any of them in five separate filings with the ethics committee.
In the letter requesting the federal investigation, Hoagland wrote: “Former Congressman Wilson has, for years, held between $1 million and $5 million in investment assets that have never been disclosed. It is very possible that he held investments in business affected by his votes, or was able to profit due to his votes, votes that by law he should have abstained from.”
When asked if he was questioning Wilson’s character, Johnson said, “I’m not suggesting anything about Mr. Wilson’s character. I’m saying, ‘He may have not complied with the law.’”
In response, J.R. Starrett, Wilson’s campaign manager, said, “Johnson would rather attempt to distract voters from his Washington record” by “filing baseless complaints.” He didn’t address any of the specific allegations in Hoagland’s request for a federal investigation.