The Federal Election Commission says in a lawsuit that former U.S. Senate candidate and tea-party favorite Christine O'Donnell illegally used at least $20,000 in campaign contributions to pay rent and utility bills at a town house where she worked and lived.
The federal lawsuit, filed Monday in Wilmington, Delaware, involves payments at the Greenville town house that served as O'Donnell's headquarters in the 2010 Senate campaign. Authorities say O'Donnell lived upstairs.
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The lawsuit seeks reimbursement by O'Donnell, plus civil penalties against the defendants. The FEC also asks for a permanent injunction against conversion of any other campaign funds.
O'Donnell, who defeated longtime congressman and former governor Mike Castle in the 2010 GOP primary, denied the allegations Tuesday. She accused the FEC of harassing her and abusing its power.