HOUSTON, Texas — Former Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst spoke out in an exclusive interview with Breitbart Texas about the betrayal by a former friend and campaign manager who embezzled nearly $2 million from his campaign. Kenneth “Buddy” Barfield was sentenced to more than seven years in prison on Friday for the crime that Dewhurst said was more about the donors he stole from than him personally.
“It’s a shame and a tragedy when a long-term friend and employee with a lovely family betrays you and steals millions of dollars,” Dewhurst said. “Buddy was a friend who I helped personally, professionally and financially many times.”
The former Lt. Governor told this writer it was a very painful betrayal. “He stole not just from David Dewhurst, he stole from the countless contributors who donated to my campaigns.”
Barfield was ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution for his crime in addition to the eighty-seven month sentence in a federal prison. Dewhurst said that number is just a fraction of what was actually stolen. “A forensic accounting investigation we conducted revealed the number to be $5.4 million,” Dewhurst explained. “Much of that money came from our ‘get out the vote’ campaign from the 2012 senatorial campaign.”
During an admonishment of Barfield, Judge Sam Sparks said Barfield not only deprived the contributors of their “political intent,” but that he may have changed the final outcome of the race. “The seriousness of the offense, I don’t think, can be overstated,” Sparks said .
“What he did was stealing from Texans who contributed to my campaigns over a six to seven year period,” Dewhurst explained. “Everyone in my company and my campaigns knew Buddy and considered him to be a friend.”
“I had even loaned him money in the past to help pay for his home when he was going through tough times,” he said.
Barfield used the millions of dollars he stole to pay his personal expenses, as Breitbart Texas previously reported. These expenses included paying his home mortgage, school tuition for his children, personal investments, and other living expenses.
Dewhurst became emotional when he thought about Barfield’s wife and children. He said Barfield had a wonderful wife and two children who are now in college. “My heart goes out to Mrs. Barfield and her children,” he said. “And, I pray that Buddy can turn his life around.”
“I hope this can serve as a reminder that nothing in life remains secret,” Governor Dewhurst said. “Your good name, your honor and integrity are worth more than anything in else life.”
The discovery of the theft perpetrated by a very close friend came as a devastating shock to Dewhurst. “I never had any indication of this until the auditors called me on December 4th, 2012,” he said sadly. “By then it was too late.”