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Opponents question Clawson's ties to sex offender

LEE COUNTY, FL - Curt Clawson's opponents in the Republican primary race for Congressional District 19 have teamed up to publicly question Clawson's ties to a registered sexual offender. They're planning to hold a joint press conference to address the issue Wednesday.

Glen Borst was convicted of attempted sex abuse of a child in 2004, and Borst later registered his address on a sex offender registry as the Saratoga Springs, Utah, property owned by Clawson.

Utah property records indicate in 2013, Clawson transferred his ownership to a limited liability corporation called "Rewired CEO Utah LLC," which lists Clawson as its agent. Rewired CEO Utah LLC sold the property last month.

We have also uncovered a 2006 document showing Clawson granted Borst a "special power of attorney," giving Borst power to sign off on all documents related to Clawson's purchase of the property. Borst was still on probation for his felony conviction at the time.

Clawson's campaign said Clawson knew Borst as a child but had no contact with him for decades. That changed in 2006, when campaign officials said Clawson purchased the Utah address as an investment rental property. Borst's ex-wife was the Realtor, and the campaign said Borst took power of attorney to handle the deal.

The campaign said Borst lived at the property as a "caretaker tenant" and Clawson was not aware Borst was a convicted sex offender until last week, when reporters began asking questions. It suggested Clawson's opponents hired private investigators that harassed victims of sexual assault.

Clawson did not report the Utah property on financial disclosure forms filed in February. His campaign provided us with a letter from an Indiana Certified Public Accountant, Ross Swallow, saying Clawson was not required to disclose the property because it's not held as an investment. However, the campaign characterized the house as an investment property in email exchanges Monday.

Meanwhile, candidates Lizbeth Benacquisto, Paige Kreegel and Michael Dreikorn released a joint statement announcing a press conference Wednesday, saying "We stand together to put politics aside to address some very serious questions that have been raised."

As of Tuesday, the Utah sex offender registry listed Borst as "non-compliant" for failing to register his current address.

"If it's our responsibility for a parolee to make sure they're responsive to the conditions of their parole, and we can't track them or don't know where they're living, that obviously raises a concern," said Stephen Gehrke, a spokesman for the Utah Department of Corrections, which maintains the sex offender registry.

Gehrke said Borst contacted local authorities to update his registration following news reports about his connection to Clawson.

"He actually saw some of those stories, and that was the first time he realized he was not in compliance," Gehrke said, based on what Borst reported to authorities.

Borst has not responded to a phone call seeking comment.

Article by: Matt Wright, Reporter www.nbc-2.com

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