### Yet Another RTP Exclusive ###
Starrett claim to be a Murfreesboro “real estate executive” looks like a total fabrication.
Says he works for a “Murfreesboro real estate company.”
His “employment” is apparently a cover story created with the assistance of some of his father’s Beverly Hills business associates.
Has never worked in the 4th district or the state of Tennessee.
Media giving him a pass?
Grant Starrett is faking it. He’s a phony. He is making it up. And he is doing so on the most basic part of his resume — his employment. Starrett’s past and current professional employment is believed to be a gross exaggeration, if not an outright fiction, and RTP has the story:
Starrett has repeatedly said in interviews and publications that he is the “Vice President and Special Counsel” of something called “Lion Real Estate Group of Murfreesboro.” Lion Real Estate of Murfreesboro is believed to be a phony company accompanied by a phony title designed to make it look like Starrett has actual employment that requires actual work. RTP was tipped to the basics of this story, and our crew has been unable to find any physical or mailing address, website or phone listing for a “Lion Real Estate Group” or variant of the name in Murfreesboro or in the state of Tennessee. We could not find any listing with the Tennessee Secretary of State’s office for any LLC or corporation listing, past, active or inactive, for any relevant company containing the name Lion Real Estate or Starrett. An initial search has also failed to turn up any local tax filings or registration for Lion Real Estate. There is no listing with the Tennessee Real Estate Commission for either Starrett or Lion Real Estate Group (although Tennessee allows attorneys to sell real estate without a real estate license, it does not appear Starrett has ever been involved in any real estate transactions, other than the purchase of his personal home in Murfreesboro a year ago).
In short, Starrett’s claim that he is some kind of “real estate executive” seems to be complete crap.
There is no record Starrett has ever had a “real” job. Because of his thin resume, he feels compelled to take what are obviously internships (some reflected by his parents’ large political contributions) and conflate them to appear to be professional positions. Other than a 5-month stint as a “coalitions coordinator” for the 2012 Mitt Romney campaign, Starrett has never had a full time job that lasted for more than 2-3 months, usually over the summer. Within the exception of his current claimed employment, he has never worked for a private business of any kind.
This is not the first time Starrett has tried to invent a position and title out of whole cloth. In January 2013, Starrett, along with another attorney named J. Ammon Smartt, organized Tennesseans for Judicial Accountability, a 501(c)4. Starrett listed himself as President and Founder. It was created to try to influence the 2014 state Supreme Court retention elections. Other than an embarrassing interview with Phil Williams (see link), the organization did not appear to be a major player in the judicial recall effort. Records show that Starrett was not paid for any work. It disbanded in December of 2014.
There is a Lion Real Estate Group. But it has an address on Wilshire Blvd., in Beverly Hills, CA (310-526-3103). Founded in 2007, the company owns and manages apartment complexes in the LA area. The co-founder and owner of that company is Jeff Weller, who appears to have a previous business link to Starrett’s father. The company’s message recording and office directory offers 13 extensions to various employees, including Weller, but no mention of Starrett. Weller and his partner have both given the maximum contribution to Starrett. It appears Starrett and his father’s California friends created a made-up position and a faux Tennessee company to provide Starrett the political cover he felt he needed to establish credibility and a link to the district he moved to just last year. Although Lion Real Estate’s only office is in California, and Starrett says he is “vice-president and special counsel” of the company, he is not a member of the California Bar.
This raises another serious question. In Starrett’s financial disclosure statements, he said he has collected around $45,000 over the last two years from Lion Real Estate (in addition to undisclosed sums from this parents private trust). Since Weller and his partner have both maxed out in contributions to Starrett, are they funneling money to him illegally by paying him a salary for “pretend” work? If Starrett cannot quickly provide proof of work for that income, it could be a violation of Federal campaign finance laws designed to prevent “laundering” of contributions by pretending to hire candidates and paying them salaries or consulting fees for no actual work. Despite his “employment” by Lion Real Estate in California, Starrett is not a member of the California bar.
“Mr. California’s” job credentials appear as fake as a Kardashian. Of course, the Kardashians and Starrett did grow up in the same neighborhood, so ……
[Editor’s note: Our excellent tipster who first brought this to our attention said he had tried to interest newspapers in the story, but that “nothing happened.” Let’s see if a more enterprising journalist would like to ask some serious questions of Mr. Starrett. To help him or her along, here are some links of interest:]
“Starrett works ‘at Lion Real Estate Group in Los Angeles’”
Secretary of State link to search registered companies:
Address and phone for Lion Real Estate Group in Los Angeles:
600 Wilshire Blvd #302, Los Angeles, CA 90017
(310) 526-3103 (note: Must call outside normal business hours to get directory recording)
Starrett Financial Disclosure statements:
[Note: There is another Lion Real Estate company in Texas, but it appears to have no connection to the one California.]