Mitt Romney’s stewardship of venture capital firm Bain Capital has become a source of campaign controversy once again as the Obama campaign is accusing him of either committing a felony or lying to the American people by being untruthful about when he stepped down as the head of the firm.
Romney has repeatedly said he left Bain in 1999, but the Obama campaign is pointing to an SEC filing from Romney which lists 2001 as the year when he stepped down from the firm. According to Obama’s campaign team, the date is relevant because Bain started outsourcing jobs after 1999, meaning it was taking jobs away from Americans.
According to the LA Times, Bain filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission as late as 2002 that identified Romney as the “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.” Moreover, financial disclosure forms in Massachusetts show Bain paid Romney at least $100,000 in salary in 2001 and 2002, according to a report Thursday in the Boston Globe.
Bain Capital released a statement saying Romney “has had absolutely no involvement with the management or investment activities of the firm or with any of its portfolio companies since the day of his departure” in February 1999.
“Due to the sudden nature of Mr. Romney’s departure, he remained the sole stockholder for a time while formal ownership was being documented and transferred to the group of partners who took over management of the firm in 1999,” the statement said. “Accordingly, Mr. Romney was reported in various capacities on SEC filings during this period.”
Romney did television interviews today repeating that he while he may have retained an ownership stake in Bain after 1999, he no longer had a management role. He called on Obama to “rein in his team” following an Obama aide’s suggestion that the documents could lead to a felony charge. He also said Obama should apologize for commercials saying he was in charge of Bain when it outsourced jobs.