(National Sentinel) Karma: Frequent presidential critic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., has been cited by the House Ethics Committee along with fellow Illinois Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush, both of whom have been ordered to pay thousands back to the government.
Both lawmakers were formally reproved by the Ethics panel on the same day, but for separate violations.
Both cases were first investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics, which found “substantial reason to believe” Rush and Gutierrez had violated House rules, Politico reported.
Gutierrez was cited for paying a staffer, Doug Scofield, out of his congressional office budget though Scofield was not working for the lawmaker.
Instead, he was doing consulting work for Gutierrez but was being paid with taxpayer funds.
The Illinois Democrat must repay $9,700 to the government. The Ethics panel found that Gutierrez’s actions were not intentional.
“The Ethics Committee concluded, as I did, that any misuse of funds was ‘inadvertent’ and done with the approval of Committee on House Administration and the Office of House Finance,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
“I am glad this review is resolved and that the Ethics Committee exonerated me of any willful or intentional wrongdoing. After five years the Ethics Committee came to the same conclusion I reached in 2013 when this was first brought to my attention.”
Rush, meanwhile, “was found in violation for accepting the use of free office space in Chicago. The committee ruled that Rush must personally repay the rental company over $14,600,” the Western Journal reported.
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