Ryan Call, a former two-term chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, is accused of stealing nearly $280,000 from a super PAC formed to support Donald Trump during the three years Call served as the committee's treasurer, according to a disciplinary complaint filed earlier this month with the state body that regulates attorneys.
Call, the complaint alleges, "knowingly misappropriated" $278,169.45 from the Rebuilding America Now PAC, a pro-Trump committee established in 2016 by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and real estate investor Tom Barrack, a prominent Trump supporter.
The complaint, filed June 2 by the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel and first reported by Colorado Newsline, alleges Call transferred the funds to himself in 37 separate transactions between September 2016 and January 2019.
The complaint also alleges Call failed to report a $1 million contribution to the PAC for more than two years.
Call didn't respond to emails, phone calls and texts seeking comment.
Before moving to Utah in 2019, Call, who endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in last year's presidential election, worked at Denver-based law firm Hale Westfall, where he routinely handled legal work involving elections and campaigns, mostly for Republican clients.
The complaint states that the firm fired Call in August 2019 after learning he had entered the PAC into a secret contract to pay himself $5,000 a month for "political strategy and fundraising support and assistance." Richard Westfall, a partner in the firm, didn't respond to a request for comment.
The disciplinary complaint, filed before the Colorado Supreme Court's presiding disciplinary judge, alleges Call committed "the crime of theft" and asks the court to find he engaged in "professional misconduct," which can involve "dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation."
A hearing on the complaint will be set after June 28, when a response from Call is due, according to Colorado Newsline.
The pro-Trump super PAC — a committee able to accept and spend unlimited funds to promote or oppose candidates — took in and spent around $23 million in 2016, according to Federal Election Commission reports. It spent the vast bulk of its funds on media, mostly opposing Democrat Hillary Clinton's candidacy.
It wasn't until early 2019, after Call filed an amended FEC report listing the $1 million contribution from Los Angeles real estate developer Geoffrey Palmer — who contributed $5 million total for the cycle — that other officials involved with the PAC examined the records and discovered what the complaint said were "discrepancies" between expenditures and FEC reports.
After Call failed to produce records requested by the PAC's assistant treasurer and legal counsel, the complaint states, the PAC in early June 2019 replaced Call as treasurer and terminated its representation agreement with Hale Westfall. Chris Marston, the PAC's current treasurer, declined to comment on the complaint or its allegations.
Call chaired the Colorado GOP from early 2011 to early 2015, following a term as chairman of the Denver County Republican Party and a stint as the state party's legal counsel. Call was head of the College Republicans when he attended the University of Colorado at Boulder and served as national co-chairman of the College Republican National Committee.