Law Firm Owned by Dem Rep’s Sister Continues to Rake in Campaign Cash

Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. continues to push payments to sister's law firm, which has now been paid nearly $1 million since 2002

Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. / Getty Images
• April 5, 2018 5:00 am


Rep. William Lacy Clay (D., Mo.) continues to push campaign funds to a law firm run by his sister, which has now received nearly $1 million in payments since first appearing on the campaign's payroll 16 years ago, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The St. Louis Democrat's campaign committee, Clay Jr. for Congress, reported directing $27,000 in disbursements to the Law Office of Michelle C. Clay, LLC, a firm owned by the congressman's sister, during the first quarter of 2018, which spans from Jan. 1 to March 30.

The firm is located just miles outside of Washington, D.C., in Bethesda, Md., and has very little information publicly available on its operations outside of its business records filed with the state of Maryland. It also does not have a website and appears to be a residential address.

The disbursements were marked for fundraising, community organizing, and compliance purposes. Clay's campaign also paid $6,000 to Fraioli & Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based firm that specializes in fundraising, in addition to the payments to his sister's firm.

The committee reported only $53,521 in total donations throughout the first quarter despite paying two firms for fundraising services.

The first quarter payments are not the first time Rep. Clay's sister has financially benefitted from the campaign.

Clay disbursed a total $98,500 from his campaign to his sister's law firm in 2017, which is included in the tally for the 2018 election cycle, meaning the firm has now been paid $125,500 total this cycle.

Throughout the 2016 election cycle, $166,000 in payments was made to his sister's firm, and between the 2002 to the 2014 election cycles, Michelle's law office was paid $684,584.

Clay's sister's firm has now hauled in nearly $1 million in payments from the campaign over the last 16 years.

Rep. Clay's campaign did not return a request for comment on the payments by press time.