“Judge” Jeanine Pirro does not plan to repay nearly $600,000 in debts accrued during her ill-fated run for the U.S. Senate, her still-active campaign committee told federal regulators this week.
An attorney for Pirro, who now hosts a Fox News program popular with President Donald Trump, told the Federal Election Commission that the hundreds of thousands of dollars she still owes to a host of campaign vendors “are not collectible” due to a six-year statute of limitations for the collection of contractual debts under New York State law.
The FEC generally requires that campaigns work out debt-forgiveness plans with their creditors if they want to settle debts at a discount in order to terminate their campaigns. Jeffrey Buley, a spokesman for the campaign, told The Daily Beast on Friday that the campaign had reached out to the vendors “many years ago” to arrange such a plan.
Pirro racked up those hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt during a failed bid for the Republican nomination to challenge then-Sen. HIllary Clinton in 2006. Though Pirro dropped out of the race after only a few months, her campaign committee remains active to this day. The committee stopped filing legally required reports with the FEC in 2012, despite repeated reminders from the commission.
“FEC notices regarding this were sent to a defunct email address of the obsolete campaign,” spokesman Jeffrey Buley told The Daily Beast last year. “We have reached out to the FEC to resolve the issues, including termination of the committee.”
It appears no such communication took place until this week, when the FEC once again reached out to the campaign to inquire about its lack of financial filings.
The Pirro campaign’s termination filing this week revealed that even as its creditors went unpaid, the campaign was still writing checks to Bruce Bellmare, its treasurer and an attorney at the law offices of Pirro’s husband. In 2017, it wrote two checks to Bellmare, for accounting and legal services, totalling $8,285.
Correction: This article previously said Pirro hosts a show on Fox Business. We regret the error.