Pennsylvania Lt. Governor and Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman purchased a $75,000 property in Braddock from his own nonprofit for a mere $1,100, according to a complaint from the Center for Accountability and Government Ethics.
The organization, a spinoff from the CPAC Foundation, contended that Braddock Redux, a nonprofit run by Fetterman and intended as a mechanism to revitalize the blighted steel town over which he was mayor, served as a means for a real estate deal between Fetterman and Jebediah Feldman, the vice president of the nonprofit’s board and deputy mayor of Braddock.
The complaint, sent to the Pennsylvania Secretary of the Commonwealth and Pennsylvania Ethics Commission, noted that Feldman bought the parcel for $75,000 in his own personal capacity in 2007. Four years later, he sold the property to Braddock Redux for $1. Three years afterward, Braddock Redux sold the parcel to Fetterman for $1,100, meaning that the Senate candidate purchased the property for a mere 8% of market value. The complaint was first obtained by The Daily Caller.
“The transaction history, the minimal value of the sale price of the property to Mr. Fetterman, and the magnitude of the discount of the property in question when compared to other properties on the same block give rise to the appearance of improper conduct,” the complaint said. “The president of a non-profit organization directing the organization to sell an asset to the president at a below-market rate would appear to be a clear violation of fiduciary obligations.”
Fetterman campaign spokesman Joe Calvello told The Daily Caller that the complaint was a “frivolous and ridiculous” attempt from a “far-right dark money group” supporting Republican nominee Dr. Mehmet Oz.
“John started Braddock Redux nearly two decades ago to help disadvantaged young people in Braddock and the surrounding area, and to create a community center for them,” Calvello remarked. “He is tremendously proud of what they accomplished while he was involved in terms of creating opportunities for Braddock youth, combating economic insecurity, helping reduce crime and gun violence, fostering a local arts resurgence, saving and restoring historical properties, and creating the Nyia Page Community Center to serve as a gathering and activity space for Braddock.”
The complaint from the Center for Accountability and Government Ethics is the second allegation that Fetterman breached the law with respect to his properties. Another report from the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust said that Fetterman reported none of the eight properties he owns in Braddock on disclosure documents filed for his Senate race, even though candidates are required to submit a financial statement that “provides a ‘full and complete’ statement of their assets, debts, and income,” including properties “with a fair market value exceeding $1,000 as of the close of the reporting period.”
The race could determine which major party controls Congress next year. Over the past few weeks, Oz has gained in the polls after months of Fetterman holding a substantial lead, rendering the contest a toss-up the week before Election Day. The celebrity heart surgeon appeared to gain another boost after Fetterman, who suffered a stroke in May and has since exhibited cognitive issues, offered a lackluster performance in the contest’s only debate.