The chief of staff to Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger resigned last month as federal investigators are looking into the Charlotte congressman’s family real estate business.
Jamie Bowers, Pittenger’s spokesman, confirmed Thursday that Brad Jones, who helped Pittenger with his 2012 transition to congress and then became his top aide, resigned last month in order to “spend more time with his family.” Bowers emphasized Jones’ departure had nothing to do with the FBI inquiry.
Bowers said he asked Jones twice – when Jones announced he was leaving on July 20 and again this week after reports emerged about the investigation -- whether he was leaving because of the federal inquiry.
“He said ‘absolutely not. I’m leaving because I want to spend more time with my family and now is a good time to make the transition,’” Bowers recalled.
It has nothing to do with this.
Jamie Bowers, Pittenger’s spokesman
Jones remained for two weeks to help with the transition, according to Bowers.
The departure comes as FBI agents look into Pittenger’s successful family business, Pittenger Land Investments. Little is know about the nature of the FBI investigation. Pittenger said he doesn’t know specifics about the probe, but that he and his former company are cooperating with FBI agents.
“The government has requested information and we are very happy to provide it,” he said in a statement. “Our business and personal affairs have always been conducted with integrity and we look forward to resolving the matter as I continue my work in Washington.”
Bowers said the federal inquiry has nothing to do with Pittenger’s duties as a member of Congress or his congressional office.
Pittenger promoted his deputy chief of staff, Stephen Billy, to take over the office. Billy, 29, grew up in the Charlotte region. He graduated from Jay M. Robinson High School in Concord. His first job was working at the amusement park Carowinds. He attended Rutgers University, where he was president of the young Republicans club. He got his law degree at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa.
He has been with Pittenger since the lawmaker took office in 2013. Billy started as a legislative assistant.