Report: Rep. McMorris Rodgers misused resources in ‘concerning pattern’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House Ethics Committee has found Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers showed “indifference to laws, rules and regulations” related to the misuse of resources. She’s been ordered to pay back more than $7,000 to the U.S. Treasury.
The report was released Thursday; you can read it here.
The allegations date back to 2010, when Rep. McMorris Rodgers paid a consultant for official services with funds that came from political committees. Also, that she used official resources and staff for campaign activities.
The allegations surfaced again in 2014.
The report details why the investigation has taken so long, citing difficulty speaking with witnesses and also areas of uncertainty facing House rules and leadership.
After its investigation, the committee found Rep. McMorris Rodgers “provided inappropriate compensation for consultant services from 2012 to 2017.” She’s accused of defraying the cost of that consultant either with political funds or funds not approved for that reason.
The report says that for several years, Rep. McMorris Rodgers congressional offices were governed by “sloppy practices, including inconsistent policies and poor record-keeping, which led to the misuse of official resources for campaign or other purposes.”
It also finds that McMorris Rodgers improperly combined official and campaign resources during her 2012 leadership race.
Investigators found Rep. McMorris Rodgers likely did not know the full extent of her offices’ misuse of resources, [but] the Committee also determined that she should have been aware the misuse was occurring.”
The Commitee says the poor record-keeping makes it difficult to know exactly how many resources were misused, but they estimate it was equal or greater to $7,575.95.
She’s been ordered to pay that money to the U.S. Treasury.
In a statement released to 4 News Now on Thursday, a spokesperson for McMorris Rodgers said:
“Over the course of six years and four congresses, the Congresswoman and her staff voluntarily cooperated with the Committee in full, as it noted in its report, producing 66,500 pages of documents and submitting to over 30 witness interview requests. We are pleased that the Committee has ended its review and we can finally put this matter behind us. This matter began after a disgruntled former employee raised complaints against the Congresswoman regarding forced campaign activity. She is particularly satisfied that the Committee found no evidence that she ever compelled staff to assist with campaign or other political efforts. The Committee also determined that many of the allegations raised against her involved areas of uncertainty facing the House community. She hopes this Report helps provide needed guidance to all members. While she may disagree with some of the findings reached by the Committee, she appreciates its work and accepts its ultimate conclusion. This will be the final statement we will make on this matter.”
Rep. McMorris Rodgers wrote a letter to the Committee last week disagreeing with some of the findings, but taking responsibility for the conclusions.
You can read that letter HERE .
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