A 2000 charity board vote by Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to give his ex-boss's company $1 million is raising conflict-of-interest questions.
Obama — now a U.S. senator for Illinois — cast the vote along with others on the board to grant the money to development company owner Allison Davis, the Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday. Another board member with ties to Davis abstained from voting.
Davis and his family have given $25,000 to Obama's campaigns for public office, and Davis hired Obama in 1993, when Davis was a partner in the law firm that Obama joined, Davis Miner Barnhill.
In 1996, Davis quit the firm to start his development company, but his firm was still represented by his old law firm, for which Obama still worked.
It's not clear that at the time the vote came up that Obama disclosed that relationship.
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton defended Obama's decision, according to the Sun-Times.
"It was a worthwhile project," Burton said. "It's not a conflict of interest to do what's right for your community."