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Alan Grayson staffer named as director on two of his Cayman Island hedge funds

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Carla Coleman, a staffer in Alan Grayson’s congressional office, is also listed as a director of the U.S. Senate candidate’s controversial Cayman Island hedge funds.

First reported by Joe Schoffstall of the Washington Free Beacon, Coleman, who has worked for the Orlando Democrat since 2013, is listed on the most recent SEC filings as holding positions in two hedge funds doing business in Cayman Islands and under scrutiny for possible ethics violations.

One SEC filing, dated Nov. 24, 2014, lists both Coleman and Grayson as directors of Grayson Fund (Cayman) Ltd. A second filing on Nov. 24 lists the two as executive officers of the Grayson Master Fund (Cayman) LP.

Ken Scudder, communications director for Grayson, said Coleman works part-time for the hedge funds outside of her office duties,

“Ms. Coleman has a part-time position with the Fund and is paid by the Fund,” Scudder told the Beacon. “This job is completely separate from her responsibilities in Rep. Grayson’s Washington, D.C., congressional office.”

“It’s not correct to say that she has ‘administrative duties for Rep. Grayson’s hedge funds while working out of the Washington, D.C., office,’” Scudder noted. “Her administrative duties for the hedge fund are not performed in the congressional office, and she does not use any congressional office resources when performing those duties. She is not ‘senior staff’ under the Ethics Reform Act, and therefore she is allowed to do any outside work.”

But Schoffstall notes that congressional staffers do not need to be senior staff to be prevented from certain outside jobs, according to Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust Executive Director Matthew Whitaker.

Staff members “should not undertake any outside employment that would involve the member personally in the selling or endorsement of any goods or services,” Whitaker said. Staff (not just senior staff) is limited on employment, either for selling products and endorsement of services.

Coleman could not sell to any person that she came into contact through the congressional office, he added, or “indicate her affiliation with the congressional office.”

Whitaker continued: “I think it demonstrates Grayson’s ethical violations and his prohibited ties to the funds.”

Grayson has been accused of managing three hedge funds bearing his name during his time in Congress, which could be violations of House ethics rules.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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