Matt York / AP
On Friday morning, Parliament unanimously adopted a rare ethical resolution to reprimand the Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., For violating the rules of financing congresses and campaigns.
Schweikert agreed to pay a fine of $ 50,000 and admitted to 11 breaches of ethics, including misuse of official funds.
The Home Ethics Committee has been investigating Schweikert, who was elected in 2010, for more than two years. His subcommittee of inquiry concluded that there was “good reason” to believe that Schweikert had violated the government’s code of ethics, campaign finance laws and house rules.
House investigators concluded that over a period of seven years, Schweikert did not disclose or misrepresent $ 305,000 in loans or loan repayments and did not report more than $ 140,000 in campaign contributions.
The 13-page report, which details the committee’s investigations and findings, points to the Schweikert campaign, which accepted more than $ 270,000 from its then-senior staff, Richard Schwab, in violation of campaign finance laws.
A statement issued by the ethics committee on Thursday also said Schweikert had misused his congressional contribution for “unofficial purposes” and put pressure on “official staff to campaign”.
According to the findings, Schweikert made “vague or misleading remarks” that “allowed him to avoid the statue of restrictions for the most serious violations of campaign finance laws.”
The report continued: “Efforts such as those made by Rep. Schweikert undertook to delay and prevent [investigative subcommittee] The inquiry not only severely damaged the committee’s work and Parliament’s reputation, but also the sanctions themselves for infringements. “
Failure to breach trust
Parliament’s Speaker for the Ethics Commission, Ted Deutch, D-Fla., Who addressed Parliament on Friday morning, emphasized the consequences of the breach of public confidence.
“One of our most basic duties for members of Congress is to adhere to the principle that a public office is a public trust. In order to affirm this trust and maintain civic confidence in the integrity of this body, we, as members, are committed to standards of official conduct, “he said.
Deutch further encouraged members of Congress and staff to turn to the committee if they have ethical issues in order to “avoid the mistakes made by Rep. Schweikert “.
“Enemy committee advisers are always ready to answer any questions related to ethics, organize special trainings for members and staff, in addition to mandatory annual training on ethics, and issue advisory opinions upon request,” he said.
Schweikert replied to the committee, stating that although he thought he might refute some of the allegations, he decided to resolve them because the process was “time-consuming and extremely costly.”
Domino rebuke is a major blow to Schweikert, who faces a tough race in a competitive 6th district in Arizona that covers Phoenix and Scottsdale.
The four Democrats will face in the primary period on August 4.
Top Democratic Opponent Schweikert Dr. Hiral Tipirneni said that Schweikert “abused his power and betrayed the public’s trust.”
According to Steve Goldstein of the NPR NPR membership station, Schweikert is expected to face an intense challenge, in part because voters want to see increased steps in the fight against racial injustice.