- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 11, 2004

The U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, along with the FBI, is investigating the suspected theft of $350,000 in checks from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, focusing on a bank account opened by a committee employee who once was a key Clinton administration official.

Law-enforcement authorities said the missing checks — all but $10,000 of which have been recovered — were traced to a private bank account opened by Roger Chiang, the DSCC’s former director of constituency outreach, who was fired from his post last month after the checks were first reported missing.

Mr. Chiang, who lives in the District, was not available yesterday for comment. He has not been charged in the investigation.

“It is disappointing that while Democratic senators, candidates, staff and donors were working hard to build a better America in this election, an individual put greed and self-interest ahead of the efforts of so many others,” DSCC spokesman Brad Woodhouse said yesterday.

“However, the DSCC’s internal controls identified the problem, and the DSCC immediately requested the assistance of the Capitol Police. As a result of their effective investigation, nearly all of the funds were recovered in time to be used on the 2004 Senate campaigns,” Mr. Woodhouse said.

The DSCC is cooperating fully with U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Wainstein in the investigation, Mr. Woodhouse said, noting that the committee maintained an insurance policy to protect against fraud or other losses, “even though only a small amount of funds has yet to be recovered.”

Led by Sen. Jon Corzine, New Jersey Democrat, the DSCC is a significant source of campaign funds for Senate Democrats, raising and contributing substantial sums of money to races in each state. It also helps Democratic candidates with polling information, research data and press advice, offering what its Web page calls “the latest techniques for campaigning.”

DSCC officials reported raising more than $76 million for the two-year election cycle that just ended.

The committee’s internal auditors first discovered in early October that the checks, mostly made out to “DSCC,” were missing, authorities said, and immediately notified U.S. Capitol Police, who traced them to the Chiang account. Bank records show that the account was opened by Mr. Chiang with his home address and Social Security number, although the account was labeled DSCAMPO.

The investigation was first reported yesterday by The Washington Post.

Mr. Chiang was officially listed as the director of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) outreach office for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), responsible for fund raising and increasing voter turnout among Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders.

As the primary APIA spokesman for the Democratic Party, he also worked with Democratic congressional leadership and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to develop legislative agendas and strategies affecting the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.

Before joining the DNC in June 2001, Mr. Chiang worked as a research assistant at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In December 2000, he was appointed by President Clinton as an adviser at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the highest-ranking Asian-American at the department, where he served as a key adviser to Secretary Andrew Cuomo.

Mr. Chiang also was HUD’s representative to the White House on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders and worked for the Gore/Lieberman 2000 presidential campaign and the Clinton/Gore 1996 campaign.

Among several awards he has received are the president’s citation for meritorious service, the HUD’s award for excellence, and a citation as the “Rising Asian American in Government” by the Asian American Government Executives Network.

In 2002, Mr. Chiang was named one of the “Top 30 Under 30 Most Influential Asian Pacific Americans” by PoliticalCircus.com.

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