John James, the Republican running to unseat Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, took more than $20,000 in campaign contributions from a former medical-research executive accused of demanding sex from an employee and fathering two of her children before firing her.
Between August 2017 and July, William U. Parfet, who was the CEO of Michigan-based MPI Research and a board member at Monsanto, contributed $5,400 – the maximum allowed – to James’s campaign and another $15,000 to Outsider PAC, which was established to support James.
In 2016, a California woman sued Parfet alleging that he demanded she have sex with him while she was working for him as a consultant in China. Between 2008 and 2014, the woman alleged, the two of them had an affair that resulted in two children.
In 2017, the woman and Parfet agreed to drop the lawsuit.
At the time the suit was filed, Parfet was serving as the chairman for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s PAC, to which he contributed $100,000 as Snyder explored running for president, according to the Detroit Free Press.
After the suit, Parfet was fired from MPI and resigned from the boards of Stryker Corp. and Monsanto.
In 2012, in his role as chairman of Stryker, Parfet gave the company’s still-married CEO, Stephen P. MacMillan, approval to have an affair with a flight attendant on the company’s corporate jets, The Wall Street Journal reported. MacMillan was later pushed out, but Parfet told the company’s board the CEO had “never violated any company policy nor any code of conduct.”
After the American Ledger reported last week that James had spoken to a men’s-only event where he said women want men who have been tested and that men had a “charge to lead,” James defended his comments.
“John James was talking to a male group about what it’s like for fathers to stay in the family and for men to lead – an issue that disproportionately impacts economically depressed and minority communities,” his campaign said in a statement.