Vice chair of CPAC steps down

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Conservative Political Action Coalition (CPAC) Vice Chair Charlie Gerow is stepping down from his role with the organization, both confirmed on Friday.

Gerow served as both a board member for the American Conservative Union (ACU) Foundation and as vice chair for ACU/CPAC.

“It is with deep sadness and true regret that I have joined several of my colleagues in resigning from the Board of ACU/CPAC. I have consistently exercised my fiduciary duties to the organization and always done my very best to fulfill all of my responsibilities to this very vital organization. I know I have done the right things,” Gerow said in a statement.

“Although I will not now be able to participate in the August Board meeting, I am calling on my former colleagues to authorize an independent investigation into the charges against Matt Schlapp, to conduct an independent forensic audit of the organizations finances, to obtain a written opinion of counsel that the organization is in full compliance with its own by-laws and all applicable law and to thoroughly review all the exit interviews of the large number of staff who have recently left CPAC/ACU/ACUF,” he added.

CPAC, a prominent conservative organization whose annual conferences are a staple on the Republican political calendar, has faced months of turmoil.

A campaign aide to former Senate candidate Herschel Walker filed a lawsuit against its chairman Matt Schlapp and his wife in January, alleging that the CPAC chair sexually assaulted him. Schlapp denies the accusations.

And Politico reported several other board members have stepped down from their roles.

CPAC issued a statement Friday accusing Gerow of resigning because he had been denied another term as board member and saying they had learned of his resignation from a report in The Washington Post.

“It was only after Charlie Gerow realized that the board was not going to grant him an additional term that he decided to resign. It comes as no surprise that we learned of his resignation from the Washington Post,” CPAC wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “This is the same paper that received all the previous leaks this year. The only thing worse than for conservatives to try and harm CPAC is to use this hateful rag to do it.”

In CPAC’s post on X, it also included a video of Gerow praising Schlapp.

In a brief interview with The Hill, Gerow pushed back against the assertion that CPAC had learned of his resignation through The Washington Post and alleged that top officials at the conservative group were trying to push him out.

“First of all, they learned of it from a letter that I sent to each and every director earlier today, a multiple-page letter,” he said. “I don’t know how many it was, but it was a lot of pages detailing a lot of different reasons for my resignation and setting forth each of them at light. So they learned about it from a private letter sent to each and every director. They did not learn about it from the Washington Post unless they just happened to be routinely reading The Washington Post every minute. So that’s a fabrication.”

“I was aware that [ACU General Counsel] David Safavian and Matt Schlapp had conducted a very concerted effort to try to get me removed from the board. I was well aware of that,” Gerow said.

The former vice chair said he believed the motivation behind it was “because I had done my duty, my fiduciary duty to the organization by asking the tough questions that needed to be asked and still need to be answered.”

The Hill has reached out to CPAC for further comment.

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