Congressional candidate Jim Graves acknowledged on Monday that he did not, in fact, serve on the board of United Way of Central Minnesota, as he has claimed in his online biography.
The state Republican Party on Friday challenged several of Graves’ business practices and said that after checking with United Way, it had found no record of him having served on the board.
United Way CEO Patrick Powell confirmed Monday that Graves has never served on its board of directors. But the agency's records show that from the late 80s to the early 90s, he served on a "board-level committee" -- the "campaign cabinet" that organizes the charity's annual fundraising drive.
Campaign manager Adam Graves said Graves put together the list of his community service activities long before he ever thought of running for public office, and when the Republican charges came to light, he admitted he wasn't sure in retrospect whether his United Way work was a board or a committee.
"When I asked him about it, he said, 'well, let's just change the website,'" Adam Graves said, adding that the campaign is preparing a full response to the other GOP allegations as well.
The online biography, which used to read, "Jim Graves has served on numerous non-profit boards, including United Way of Central Minnesota," now states that Graves served on "numerous non-profit boards and or committees, including the United Way of Central Minnesota."
“Jim Graves got caught red-handed. When you sit on a board, you go to board meetings. It’s a pretty simple thing to remember. It’s dishonest and wrong for Jim Graves to claim he sat on a board of a charity when it is clearly not the case,” campaign manager Chase Kroll said in a statement. “If Jim Graves isn’t telling the truth about being on the board of a charity, what else is he not telling the truth about?”