Sioux Falls, SD
A Sioux Falls man says a former U.S. Senate candidate owes him $24,000 for unpaid work.
Mitchell Olson was hired by Annette Bosworth to work on various projects for Bosworth and her husband Chad Haber.
You no doubt remember the Sioux Falls doctor's legal troubles following her unsuccessful bid for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2014.
Last summer, the South Dakota Supreme Court overturned six perjury convictions against Bosworth over the mishandling of petition signatures during her 2014 political campaign.
However, the justices did affirm her felony convictions for filing false petitions.
Bosworth is still in a legal battle to keep her medical license.
Now a former Bosworth employee says she owes him thousands of dollars and questions how she's using her legal defense fund.
Monday in court, Bosworth asked that her legal defense fund not be included in the lawsuit.
Bosworth is no stranger to the spotlight and neither is Olson. This Vermillion native and former CBS Survivor Contestant was hired by Bosworth and her husband.
"They had all these fun entertainment-type projects. They called them their passion projects they wanted to do: documentaries, even a faith-based film we brought to Sioux Falls," Olson said.
Olson says after working for Bosworth and Haber for a year, the paychecks stopped. Olson says they now owe him $24,000 in back pay.
In his lawsuit, Olson also names Bosworth's legal defense fund. Olson's lawsuit claims the defense fund is not a legal entity in South Dakota and "is little more than an alter ego of Bosworth and Haber."
"I knew that that existed. I even helped them with some of those things--like stuffing envelopes and things like that. I call it a work day--or make money, pay the bills, kind of day. But I hoped that my bill wasn't being paid through this defense fund," Olson said.
According to Olson, he was and he produced a PayPal receipt for his work from Annette Bosworth's Legal Support Fund for $2,000
"Its title alone would be for paying off legal fees. I was helping them with entertainment-type projects that I didn't think would fit under this defense fund," Olson said.
Olson's lawsuit includes a 16-page letter which reads, "From the desk of Dr. Annette Bosworth,"
In it she discusses her legal troubles and goes after Attorney General Marty Jackley, who prosecuted Bosworth's perjury case.
It reads: "Attorney General Marty Jackley has continued to strengthen his mafia-like-corruption in South Dakota."
She asks her supporters to contribute to her legal fund, saying she has legal costs of $121,697.
Bosworth writes, "Please be as generous as you can." And goes onto say, "Every dime of what you send will be used to help us wage this fight."
"I kind of started getting sick to my stomach and thinking--people are giving them lots of money. I know that they are. I wasn't keeping records of anything they were making--I just saw the envelopes coming in every day," Olson said.
In court Monday, Bosworth and Haber weren't interested in discussing details of the case.
Angela Kennecke: Are you using money from your legal defense fund for other than what you promised?
Bosworth: I don't have control of my legal defense fund.
Kennecke: Did you declare it as income, money from your legal defense fund?
Haber: No comment.
Bosworth is currently treating clients for free and Olson alleges she and Haber are living off the donations of others who believe they're helping with her legal bills.
"If you put two and two together---neither one of them has a job, so they're not working. That's they only thing I can see is how they're supporting themselves--through their defense fund," Olson said.
Judge Brad Zell denied Bosworth's and Haber's request to not include the legal defense fund in the lawsuit against them.
We checked with the South Dakota Secretary of State's Office and there's nothing in state law that would require Bosworth to register this legal defense fund unless it was incorporated as a nonprofit corporation. KELOLAND Investigates cannot find any record of the fund registered with the state in any way.
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