Ohio Sen. Brown Revises Financial Disclosures After Failing to Report Wife’s Pension for Years

Ryan Morgan
By Ryan Morgan
August 16, 2023Congress
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Ohio Sen. Brown Revises Financial Disclosures After Failing to Report Wife’s Pension for Years
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) looks on during a Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 16, 2023. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) has acknowledged several years in which he did not report payments through a pension account belonging to his wife, Connie Schultz.

Ms. Schultz has worked as a feature writer and opinion columnist with The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com. She has since gone on to teach journalism at Kent State University and Denison University.

In a filing with the Senate Financial Disclosure website on Monday, Mr. Brown amended financial reports from 2007 to 2016, and for 2018, to acknowledge his wife’s Invesco pension account. Between 2007 and 2011, the account was valued at between $15,001 and $50,000 and then rose in value in 2012 to between $50,001 and $100,000. As of 2018, the account was valued at between $100,001 and $250,000.

In May, Mr. Brown also filed for an extension to complete his 2022 financial disclosure. On Monday, he submitted the delayed 2022 financial disclosure form, which noted that his wife’s Invesco pension account is valued at between $250,000 and $500,000. The disclosure also noted that his wife had another account with the State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio, worth between $100,000 and $250,000, from her time working at Kent State University.

“Connie’s retirement was not listed and the previous reports have now been updated,” Mr. Brown’s reelection campaign manager, Rachel Petri, told Cleveland.com.

NTD News has contacted Mr. Brown’s reelection campaign and his Senate office for further comment.

Mr. Brown’s 2022 financial disclosure form shows that his wife received more than $1,000 in salaries from USA Today, Kent State University, and Denison University. She also received more than $1,000 in royalty payments from Random House for books she has written and $750 in charity payments in her name from The Washington Post. Mr. Brown’s financial disclosures in past years had acknowledged similar income streams for his wife, but had not included mention of her retirement assets.

Senator’s Finances Draw Scrutiny

It comes as Mr. Brown’s other financial disclosures have drawn scrutiny.

In 2012, The Plain Dealer and Cleveland.com reported Mr. Brown made late tax payments on a condominium he owned in Washington, D.C.

Addressing the late payments, Mr. Brown told Cleveland.com in 2012: “I misplaced the bill and I paid it as soon as I found out. I paid a penalty for being late, and it won’t happen again.”

In May this year, just days before Mr. Brown filed for an extension on his 2022 Senate disclosure form, NBC News reported the Ohio senator and his wife again had to make payments for late property tax payments on their Cleveland home in 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2015, and 2014.

In May, NBC News also reported Mr. Brown accepted an owner-occupancy tax credit for two different Ohio properties, over the course of multiple years. Ohio law states that a person can only claim one residence for an owner-occupancy tax credit, and a married couple can only claim multiple properties for the credit if they can demonstrate that they live separately.

Responding to tax questions in May, Mr. Brown’s campaign told NBC News that he and his wife had paid a $390 penalty and would no longer take the owner-occupancy credit on their second property.

“They made a mistake, have taken care of it, and paid Franklin County,” Ms. Petri told NBC News.

The tax issues could become fodder for Republicans looking to unseat the Democrat-incumbent as he seeks a fourth term in the Senate.

“Every single Ohioan is expected to pay their taxes on time, but Sherrod Brown apparently thinks he’s too important to pay his own,” National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Philip Letsou said in May. The NRSC subsequently released an attack ad, calling the Ohio Democrat a “hypocrite” for advocating higher taxes while struggling to pay his own on time.

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