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Presidential candidate's lawyer reviewing allegations campaign team didn't get paid

ABC News logo ABC News 4/20/2019
a man wearing a suit and tie smiling at the camera: Wayne Messam speaks at a rally at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Florida, March 30, 2019. © Joe Raedle/Getty Images, FILE Wayne Messam speaks at a rally at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens, Florida, March 30, 2019.

Presidential hopeful Wayne Messam, mayor of Miramar, Florida, said a lawyer is reviewing allegations that his campaign staff isn't getting paid.

The allegations, published in a report by the Miami New Times, come from a former staffer of the campaign. The New Times report says a campaign team member sent an email to staff with the subject line "Notification of hold on paychecks," which blamed the failure to disburse checks on Messam's wife, Angela.

Messam told ABC News on Friday night that "an unnamed staffer making a claim like that can't be validated."

(MORE: Miramar, Florida, mayor declares Democratic presidential bid)

"I have legal counsel that's looking into those allegations," he added. "All of that will be investigated, and in terms of any legitimate claims, [we plan] to have those resolved."

The New Times report claimed that several of Messam’s staff members had left the campaign this week. Charly Norton, who as recently as last weekend served as the campaign’s senior communications advisor, could not be reached by ABC News via calls or texts.

Messam said he is unaware of any written resignations for campaign staff members. He touted that nearly three-quarters of his staff are women and said his staff will “look like America.”

(MORE: Before he was a candidate, Pete Buttigieg was voted 'most likely' to be president)

The report comes after the Federal Election Commission released fundraising filings for each candidate. According to the FEC, Messam’s campaign had about $42,000 of cash on hand. To qualify for primary debates, Messam needs 65,000 individual donors in at least 20 states.

The reason for the campaign's low fundraising totals, Messam said, was because he announced his 2020 bid on March 28, just a few days before FEC mandatory filings.

Messam said his campaign has raised money in 43 states and is working to meet the requirements necessary to secure a spot on the debate stage.

“We are working very aggressively to obtain that goal," Messam said, "and the Messam campaign is looking forward to qualifying for the debates."

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