NOVEMBER 06, 2007
A Texas businessman, who is a top Democratic fundraiser and has donated the federal limit to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, is under investigation for practicing law without a license and impersonating a sheriff’s deputy to silence a woman he sexually assaulted.
Renowned in ritzy Corpus Christi circles, Mauricio Celis is one of Texas’ most generous Democratic donors ($100,000 at a single Democratic fundraiser earlier this year alone) and candidates statewide loved bragging about their friendship with him until this week’s scandalous charges were made public.
It turns out that Celis, a Mexican lawyer who is not licensed to practice law in the United States, has been impersonating an attorney for years and, recently, a law enforcement officer. That incident involved a naked woman who ran into a convenience store screaming that Celis had sexually assaulted her. Dressed in a bath robe, Celis followed her into the store, flashed a Duval County sheriff’s deputy badge and took the woman into custody.
In addition to being investigated by a Grand Jury, Celis is being sued by the Texas Attorney General for practicing law without a license because it is specifically prohibited in the state. Perhaps this explains why the Democratic recipients of his money are suddenly pretending not to know him.
Besides donating the federal limit of $2,300 to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, Celis has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for state and federal Democratic candidates over the years, including $65,000 for Chris Bell’s unsuccessful 2006 run for governor.
Referring to Clinton’s latest shady donor, one political watchdog pointed out that the New York Senator should spend a little bit of her “vast war chest” doing a little due diligence on where all this money is coming from. Not surprisingly, the Clinton camp could not be reached for comment.
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