Massachusetts Commission’s Finding: Romney Left Bain In '99

By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown
By: CNN Posted By Doug Brown

(CNN) – In 2002, before Mitt Romney was elected governor of Massachusetts, political opponents in the state were out to knock him off the ballot. So they challenged his eligibility to be a gubernatorial candidate based on state residency requirements.

The bipartisan panel that handled the case, the State Ballot Law Commission, ruled in Romney’s favor. But buried deep in the 40-page document detailing its decision, the commission found the following:

“The Respondent remained actively employed at Bain Capital until January 1, 1999, at which time he left to take the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.”

A campaign official for the GOP contender released the commission’s ruling to CNN in response to questions about recently revealed federal and state documents that list Romney as the CEO and President of Bain Capital as late as 2002, three years after the Republican presidential candidate said he left the company.

An official with the campaign, did not dispute that Romney’s name appears on Bain’s filings at the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2001. He said it “just wasn’t the case” that Romney was involved in any managerial decisions at the firm.

“The reason he was on the filings is that he was technically with the firm,” the official told CNN.

In a conference call with reporters Thursday, a top Obama campaign official accused Romney of “misrepresenting” his business record to either the SEC or to voters.

The official pointed to the ballot commission’s ruling that noted Romney rented an apartment in Utah and “worked, on average, over 12 hours per day, 6 days per week” after joining the Salt Lake City Olympics organizing committee in 1999.

The ballot commission document is likely to prompt more questions about Romney’s ties to Bain after his move to Salt Lake City. As part of its ruling in favor of Romney’s residency eligibility, the panel noted Romney testified to the commission he traveled to Massachusetts where he sat on the board of one notable Bain-related company, the office supply chain, Staples.

Romney “testified that he was a director of Staples, Marriott International and Life Like,” the commission’s finding states.

The GOP contender has often touted his involvement in establishing Staples as part of his work at Bain.


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