Continued from page 1

When the inspector general’s office approached Mr. Campbell for an interview, investigators later wrote that they told him he was not a target in the investigation but that, like Mr. Stein and Amtrak’s general counsel, Eleanor Acheson, he wanted an outside lawyer to represent him before talking with investigators. The lawyer’s fees were paid by Amtrak.

Mr. Campbell said he wasn’t the only Amtrak executive whose legal fees were picked up on the government-funded rail agency’s dime, a practice that some Republican lawmakers have sharply criticized as a waste of money.

Since the investigation, Amtrak Chairman Thomas Carper told six senior members of Congress in a recent letter that “funding counsel for both sides of an internal, noncriminal investigation is wasteful, particularly when the witnesses are not targets of the investigation.”

While federal agencies have a policy, at times, of providing legal services for government employees in lawsuits or legal actions arising from their official duties, Amtrak’s decision is different because the executives were told before the interviews they weren’t targets in the investigation, records show.

But Mr. Campbell said he didn’t recall being told he wasn’t a target of the investigation until after he sat down for an interview with his lawyer present and specifically asked the question. He said he’s never sought an outside lawyer before to talk to an inspector general during his years of federal service, but was told by Ms. Acheson that the practice was standard at Amtrak.

“I just followed her guidance,” he said. “I was told to ask for indemnification and I got it.”

Mr. Campbell won the Republican primary and is hoping to unseat Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot, a Democrat. As a candidate, Mr. Campbell has touted his years as a chief financial officer in the federal government overseeing annual budgets of up to $65 billion, which is about twice the size of Maryland’s budget. He’s worked as the CFO for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Coast Guard and Amtrak.

“I have brought improved financial management to every organization that I have served as CFO,” he states on his campaign website.