Dan Flynn, the last of former Rep. Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) “inner circle” of aides still working on Capitol Hill, left the House payroll last month after being reprimanded earlier this summer for improper political activity.
Flynn, who was employed in the Texas 22nd district office as a senior adviser following DeLay’s resignation from the House in June, was formally admonished by the House Clerk in late July for using his House e-mail account to send out a DeLay-related message. Flynn formally resigned from the office on Sept. 4, according to a spokeswoman for the House Administration Committee, which oversees the Clerk’s office, but the committee offered no further comment.
Flynn denied that his decision to leave the House had anything to do with the reprimand by the Clerk, Karen Haas, but several Republican insiders said Flynn was forced of the Texas 22nd office because he was still in daily contact with DeLay. Flynn was being paid at an annual salary of nearly $160,000 for his work as a senior adviser in the office, and his future job plans are unclear at this time.
“This story’s conclusions and the assertions from which they are drawn, provided to Roll Call by anonymous sources not present in a private meeting with the Clerk, are factually inaccurate,” Flynn said in a e-mail statement.
“In a July meeting, the Clerk professionally and appropriately addressed a single matter regarding an e-mail that I should not have sent in June. There were no additional warnings after that meeting, nor was there any ‘ultimatum.’ My resignation in September was voluntary and at a time of my choosing.”
Flynn, one of DeLay’s most loyal staffers, was admonished by Haas for sending out an e-mail on his House account on June 15 to DeLay and Dani DeLay Ferro, DeLay’s daughter and former campaign manager. DeLay resigned from the House on June 9, and Flynn was advising the Texas Republican on how to respond to Democratic lawsuits challenging the Texas Republican Party’s attempts to replace him on the ballot. House ethics rules specially prohibit lawmakers or staff from using official government resources for political activities.
Flynn also played a key role in the events surrounding the House ethics committee’s decision to admonish DeLay in October 2004.
DeLay and other GOP lawmakers were investigated over allegations that they offered $100,000 in campaign contributions to then-Rep. Nick Smith (R-Mich.) in return for his vote in support of the Medicare prescription drug plan, which passed the House in December 2003.
According to the ethics committee, Flynn contacted a former Smith aide to find out whether having DeLay endorse Brad Smith, the Congressman’s son, in a GOP primary would be enough to sway the father’s vote on the Medicare bill. The younger Smith ran unsuccessfully to replace his father in Congress. The committee took no action against Flynn, although he was mentioned by name in the panel’s report on the Smith incident.
Several of DeLay’s former top aides remain in key lobbying jobs throughout Washington, but others have not fared as well. Michael Scanlon and Tony Rudy pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges related to the Jack Abramoff scandal, and another, Ed Buckham, DeLay’s former chief of staff, still is under investigation, according to sources close to the probe.
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