The House Committee on Ethics announced on Monday it will continue a review of whether Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., violated House rules and federal law through a hiring agreement he made with his former chief of staff, Doug Scofield, while declining to take the more serious step of creating a special panel to investigate the allegations.
The committee chairman, Rep. Michael Conway, R-Texas, and ranking member, Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said in a four-paragraph statement they will continue to “gather additional information necessary” for the review and did not set a timetable for their work to be completed.
At issue is the $590,000 Scofield received over 10 years from federal funds allocated to run Gutierrez’s congressional office.
The ethics probe is looking at whether Scofield functioned as a contractor — which is permissible — or if his long-term relationship with Gutierrez’s congressional office was really more like that of a consultant who performed more like an employee, which is not allowed. […]
“Today’s announcement by the Committee reveals that it will not convene a special ethics panel. As the Committee reviews this matter, Congressman Gutiérrez and his office will continue to cooperate fully. As the Committee points out, its review does not indicate that any violation has occurred or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee,” Gutierrez spokesman Doug Rivlin said in a statement.
“After its exhaustive review, the OCE made a single recommendation that the House Committee on Ethics assess whether the approved contract was permissible under ambiguous House rules.”
Go read the whole thing. The report is here. Scofield declined to cooperate.