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Politics

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alcee Hastings Make 'Top 5 Worst Ethics Violators' List

December 18, 2017 - 1:30pm
Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Alcee Hastings
Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Alcee Hastings

Two Democrats in the Florida congressional delegation were included in the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust’s  (FACT) “Top 5 Worst Ethics Violators” of the year.

FACT, which defines itself as “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas,” included Florida Democrats U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings and Debbie Wasserman Schultz in its list of worst ethics violators. 

“FACT addressed a number of ethical violations this year ranging from the misuse of government resources to egregious campaign finance violations,” said Kendra Arnold, FACT’s executive director. “While each violation is different, at the heart of each case is a public official brazenly disregarding our nation’s laws and placing their own political interests above the law and the public good.

FACT is proud to have played a leading role in exposing this wrongdoing and we are committed to continuing to bring unethical behavior to light and restoring people’s faith in our public officials,” Arnold added.   

First place went to still unknown members of Congress who were helped by $17 million paid out by the Office of Compliance (OOC)’s sexual harassment settlement fund over the last 20 years. 

“While Congress is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), FACT maintains that this is even more reason why releasing this information quickly is important—not only for the purposes of ensuring transparency in government, but to hold public officials accountable for unethical and criminal behavior,” FACT noted. 

Wasserman Schultz placed second on the list. 

“In July, FACT filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz for continuing to employ and compensate House IT aide, Imran Awan after he was barred from the House computer system and under criminal investigation. According to FACT’s complaint, Wasserman Schultz refused to remove Awan from House payroll and compensated Awan with taxpayer funds for several months – even though he was barred from the House computer system which would prevent him from performing any reasonable IT work. In fact, Wasserman Schultz only fired Awan after he was arrested on bank fraud charges attempting to flee the country the morning of July 25, 2017. Wasserman Schultz is in clear violation of House Ethics Rules as members are directly responsible for ensuring their staff are only paid for official public work.”

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., was included on third at the list for having Michael Collins, his chief of staff, also serve as his campaign’s treasurer. 

Hastings was included as fourth on the list. 

“In March, FACT filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against Democratic Representative Alcee Hastings for using taxpayer funds to overcompensate his longtime girlfriend Patricia Williams,” FACT noted. “Although the personal relationship between Rep. Hastings and Patricia Williams is not prohibited, Rep. Hastings has paid Williams the maximum salary permitted by law for several years and Williams is Hastings’ highest compensated employee. Typically, a member’s chief of staff, the top person responsible for overall office functions, is the highest-paid person in a congressional office not the deputy director of the member’s district office. Members are prohibited from retaining employees on the payroll who do not perform official duties commensurate with the compensation received. Williams has collected nearly $2.4 million in salary since 2000 for her work in the Broward County district office.

Former U.S. Labor Sec. Tom Perez was also included on the list for shifting funds from his campaign to lead the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to his defeated rivals. 

Comments

So according to "FACT," only Democrats have ethics problems. They might want to live in the world of facts if they want credibility by anyone outside the bear-trap mind crowd

And Miami ranks #1 in America's least friendly city , who cares?

Is anyone really truly surprised by these rankings? DWS is an outright disgrace and nemesis of progressive wing for having played Bernie Sanders for a chump. And wasn't Hastings removed from the Federal bench years back for dubious shenanigans? The poster kids for why there is zero credibility in government and why the swamp needs to be drained.

Don't I remember that Debbie was mentioned as having an "affair" with James Comey last year? Guess it's not my business who screws whom in D.C. ---- UNLESS THEY WORK FOR THE GOVERNMENT!

Give Comey a little credit!

ANYONE who pays attention to 'current events' CANNOT be surprised at the miscreants; DWSchults, Hastings, John Lewis, and the "stone Communist Tom Perez", holding esteemed places on this infamous list of disgraced public "servants" ! DAMN THEM ALL, and the damage they've done to American politics !

Just listen to all the "bleating sheep" below, trying to defend indefensible, corrupt, thieving politicians..... ("pathetic"...right "Frank"?)

Gee . . . . . quite a surprise to see such rhetoric from the panhandle liar who can't even remember to lie correctly about which party he belongs to, when (or do I need to quote those lies here again) . . . . . . . much less your attacks on anyone not like you, with racism, and belittling discrimination mixed in for good measure . . . . . . . . . (a few examples: Jug-eared moron; morons; Medusa crazy lady; “kool-Ade" drinking moron; Obama lapdog; anti-American poseur; narcissistic poseur president; Women assuming a position of power wield it like no others, with pettiness, animosity and vindictiveness; relocated and/or retired "carpetbaggers"; hundreds of thousands of "Illegal Invaders"; lackey minions; "that niggler, Barak Hussein Obama and so on") . . . . . . . as always, simply . . . . . . . . PATHETIC

Gee, Kevin Derby, name exactly how many Republicans vs. Democrats FACT has taken to task this year in any meaningful way . . . . . and while you're at it, please tell us who funds this dark money operation (we know it includes Charles Koch) . . . . . . the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust is a secretive, right-wing organization that basically attacks Democrats . . . . . . . truly Fair and Balance . . . . . . . just like FoxNoise and SSN . . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . . .

Frank, you are right on the money with the "dark money" coming from the Koch's. Such fine, upstanding citizens.....LOL!

And how many job have you ever created? How many companies have you built? You’re just another pathetic liberal loser.

Alcee Hastings has a long history of questionable behavior. It's amazing how he has held the positions he has, other than a very poorly informed constituency or one that likes his questionable behavior. As for Wassermman ... we all saw the saga play out before us on the daily news. I am not too sure about our voters and less sure about our elected representatives.

congress spends to much of tax payers money on themselves perhaps warner should read 50 ways our beloved government waste's taxpayers money

I have "bobby g". Some having to do with kleptocratic embezzlement of/from national resources (see Linke, the Koch connection and sponsored PAC's) and special accounts (social security, medicare) , mindless wars, sequestration and it's impact on long term national security policy, planning, and execution, misuse and abuse of Congress's investigatory powers, failure to pursue meaningful infrastructure repair and rebuilding, failure to adequately enforce securities and anti-trust laws, deliberate under staffing of the IRS.... et. seq. Was going to add failure to promote literacy, education and public schools - but given many comments here - this is now a lost cause.

FACT should be F...ked. Alt Right all the way.

Ever notice the most corrupt politicians are always big anti gun liberal democrats? I guess if I was screwing people to the extent these scumbags are, I would want them unarmed also.

She is a real POS Voters of Florida need to get rid of Debbie!!!

My thoughts exactly, get rid of her.

Think folks should check out Kevin's source, "FACT". And then assess credibility. Readers expect better vetting of sources - especially these days. https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2016/04/new-nonprofit-tied-to-stealthy-circle-of-dark-money-groups/

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