Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., dropped her bid to be chairwoman of the Home Democratic Caucus on Thursday after her husband was indicted in Connecticut on federal theft and conspiracy fees.

“After cautious consideration of the time and power being in management calls for, I’ve determined that my focus now must be on my son, my household, and my constituents in California,” Sanchez stated in a press release.

In a letter to her Democratic colleagues, Sanchez stated that “an surprising household matter … compels me to withdraw my identify as a candidate for chair of the Democratic Caucus.”

The 49-year-old Sanchez, who received a ninth time period on Tuesday, was vying to succeed exiting Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y. within the place. The Home Democratic Caucus chair is the fourth-highest place within the social gathering, after the Democrats took management of the Home of Representatives on this yr’s midterm elections.

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Sanchez’s husband, 52-year-old James Sullivan, is one among 5 executives of the Connecticut Municipal Electrical Vitality Company (CMEEC) indicted Thursday. CMEEC is a public firm that has obtained greater than $9 million from the U.S. Division of Vitality.

Federal prosecutors allege that Sullivan and his co-defendants used an organization account as a “secret slush fund” and spent greater than $800,000 on “lavish journeys,” together with to the Kentucky Derby in 2015 and 2016 and a West Virginia golf resort.

Sullivan and CMEEC CEO Drew Rankin are particularly accused of conspiring to make use of firm funds to pay for different journeys, together with a 2014 flight for Sanchez to journey to Key West. Prosecutors additionally say Rankin permitted journeys by Sullivan and “members of the family” to the Derby in 2013, 2014, and 2015. The Norwich Bulletin newspaper reported final yr that Sanchez attended the Derby together with her husband in 2013 and 2014.

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“CMEEC has obtained hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in grants from the U.S. Division of Vitality,” U.S. Lawyer John Durham stated in a press release.  “As an alternative of defending these funds and returning extra income to member cities and ratepayers, these defendants are alleged to have used the CMEEC Margin Account as a secret slush fund to pay for lavish junkets for themselves and their household and mates, in addition to for different inappropriate bills.  The U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace is dedicated to working with our federal regulation enforcement companions to safeguard public funds and prosecute those that steal from the general public.”

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Sullivan and his 4 co-defendants are charged with one depend of conspiracy and three counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds. In a separate indictment, Sullivan and Rankin face an extra depend of conspiracy and three counts of theft from a program receiving federal funds.

All 5 defendants entered not-guilty pleas in federal court docket in New Haven, Connecticut, and have been launched on $100,000 bond.

Earlier this yr, The Day newspaper of Norwich, Conn., revealed that Sullivan resigned as chairman of Norwich Public Utilities in October 2015 after a feminine worker accused him of sexual harassment. The utilities fee finally paid the worker a $35,000 settlement.



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