Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said he’s received an outpouring of support – from people he knows and others he doesn’t – since Clerk-Treasurer Christine Pauley recently alleged they never had a romantic relationship and that he repeatedly harassed her in 2015 and 2016.
He also explained why he believes she’s bringing up the allegations just weeks before the May 7 Republican primary, in which he is facing a challenge from Hamilton County Councilor Fred Glynn.
“She is one of my opponent’s biggest supporters,” Brainard said. “She made it clear to me that she wanted to be controller. I told her we need a CPA in that position, and at that point I think she decided to do everything she could to work with Mr. Glynn so she could obtain that position.”
Pauley is not a CPA. Campaign finance records show she has donated $1,000 to Glynn’s campaign. Glynn previously denied offering Pauley a job in his administration in exchange for support.
Brainard recalled a morning in March 2016 when he called in sick to work and woke up surprised to see Pauley sitting on the edge of his bed checking in on him.
“It scared me to death. I felt (sick), and I didn’t want to see anybody,” he said. “You don’t do that to someone who you don’t want to be around and who is ‘bothering’ you.”
Pauley issued a statement through her attorney, Tim Stoesz, regarding the mayor’s claims.
“The latest allegations from Mayor Brainard are just more of his fantasy,” she stated. “I am sure he would like to believe that we were dating, but fantasy is not reality. He can bring out as many of his supporters as he wants to stand up for him.”
Several people who said they knew or saw Brainard and Pauley in early 2016 have come forward to support the mayor’s claims that the two had a dating relationship.
Mark Filippel of Shaker Heights, Ohio, said he remembers Brainard and Pauley traveling to the Cleveland area together in mid-March 2016 to scout locations for Pauley’s daughter’s wedding. Filippel said Pauley told him she invited Brainard to accompany her on the drive and that they all enjoyed a dinner together where “everyone seemed to get along fine.”
“Based on what I saw back in 2016, Christine seemed to be having a great time and welcomed the opportunity to spend time with you,” Filippel stated in an email to Brainard.
Carmel resident Lonnie Schauwecker said he recalled seeing Brainard and Pauley together at a Shen Yun performance at Clowes Hall in early March 2016. He said he sat next to Brainard at the performance and that a woman – who Schauwecker said he now recognizes as Pauley – sat on his other side.
“Mayor Brainard and I did not converse the entire evening as he and the lady were in conversation,” Schauwecker stated in an email. “It was clear that they were in a relationship and held hands all evening.”
Schauwecker said he remembers the evening well as it was the last time he was able to be out with his wife before she died the next month.
“Ms. Pauley’s stunt has caused me to relive a wonderful evening shared with my wife with some dismay,” he stated.
Both sightings occurred shortly before Brainard sent an email to Pauley inviting her to go to Rome, a trip he described as a “special secret” that would not use taxpayer dollars.
On April 25, City of Carmel spokeswoman Nancy Heck released an email the city received from Pauley’s former neighbor, Amy Stacey, who said she remembers Pauley telling her in June 2016 that she was dating Brainard. Stacey said she moved out of Carmel in early 2018.
“During the time we lived in the same neighborhood Chris Pauley would be very open when bragging about the men she dated (judges, lawyers, doctors, prominent businessmen),” Stacey stated. “I had no reason to not believe her when she claimed to be dating Mayor Brainard, as I saw them in public often and when Mayor Brainard came to Chris’s home on more than one occasion.”
Stacey said she fears retaliation from Pauley but decided to speak out anyway.
“I am coming forward in the interest of the City of Carmel, in defense of an innocent man and last but not least for all the women that really have endured sexual harassment in the workplace,” Stacey stated.
Pauley’s attorney, Tim Stoesz, stated in an email that an elected public official will speak up early next week with eyewitness information about the mayor’s actions toward Pauley at public events. He would not clarify if the official is from Carmel.