New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown has resigned as senior adviser to a Florida company and relinquished stock options once valued at $1.3 million.
At a media event to highlight his official entry into the race, Brown was asked by reporters at the state capital in Concord about how he earned the stock grant and whether he had researched the company before lending it his name and likeness for promotion.
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About two hours later, Brown’s campaign sent out an email announcing that he was stepping down from the advisory board of Global Digital Solutions Inc. and giving up the stock.
"It's clear from recent media reports that my continued role with the company would be an unnecessary and unwanted distraction," Brown said in the statement. "I want the people of New Hampshire to know they are my top priority. Therefore, I am resigning my advisory position with the company and relinquishing all my rights to the restricted stock that has been granted me, effective immediately."
On Sunday, The Boston Globe
reported that Brown received 1.5 million shares of stock in Global Digital when he joined its advisory board last fall. Brown has not sold the stock, which company filings say would vest between January and September of this year. The initial value of the stock has declined steadily from $1.3 million to $455,000, or 35 cents per share.
According to the Globe
, Global Digital was founded as a beauty supply supplier in New Jersey, selling hair spray, conditioners, and shampoos, before reinventing itself as a wireless data enterprise based in California, and then again last year as a South Florida-based firearms maker and gun-technology innovator.
The publicly traded company, which lists just four employees, $271,776 in cash, and a market value of about $36 million, has no revenue, no products, no trademarks, no patents, and only a "virtual office" space in West Palm Beach, Fla. Yet in March, Global Digital, which Brown referred to as a "start-up . . . going through transition," announced it planned to buy Remington Arms Co. LLC, one of the world’s largest gun manufacturers, for more than $1 billion.
Brown's association with the company and his handling of the controversy may have ramifications for his bid to win the Republican primary and the right to face Democratic incumbent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, in November.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party is demanding that Brown file a personal financial disclosure form, as other candidates in the race have done. Last month, Brown obtained permission to delay filing his financial disclosure form until Aug. 9, one month before the Republican primary.
"The fact is, everything we know about [Global Digital] was true when Brown joined its advisory board — and he joined anyway," the state Democratic Party’s communications director, Julie McClain, told the Globe. "New Hampshire voters deserve to know where else and from who else he was cashing in."
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