Politics

Schweikert Chief of Staff Faces Ethics Complaint

Accused of double-dipping salary

The chief of staff for Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., is facing a complaint filed to the Office of Congressional Ethics that says that he made more money assisting his boss' campaign than is legally permissible. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll file photo)

Arizona Rep. Dave Schweikert’s chief of staff is facing an ethics complaint for essentially taking two salaries while working for Congress.

The complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics claims Oliver Schwab, who has worked for the Arizona Republican’s office since 2011, was running a consulting firm to help his boss’ campaign, the Phoenix New Times reported.

But Federal Election Commission documents show that Schwab raked in $148,315 in consulting fees and an additional $57,946 in traveling fees.

The complaint showed that in 2014, Chartwell Associates, Schwab’s firm, received $109,500, more than the $26,955 cap on income that congressional staffers can earn in additional salary. 

And according to an interview with the Washington Examiner from last year, Schwab essentially runs the firm by himself, saying “anytime you see Chartwell that’s Oliver Schwab.”

Schwab defended himself to the New Times.

“Last year, Congressman Schweikert requested a review of both official and campaign expenditures to make certain they complied with all laws, rules and regulations,” he said. “While that process is ongoing, he remains confident that any errors that may have occurred were inadvertent and made in good faith.”

Similarly, Schweikert defended the practices to the Examiner and said his chief of staff “has never been paid as a consultant.”

“There were a couple things that were sloppy,” he said. “There were some things that were absolutely innocent but would’ve been cleaner and more appropriate protocol if you just had used a campaign debit card instead of buying coffee and then getting a reimbursement.”

The complaint was filed by Laurie Coe, who New Times reported is active with the Arizona Democratic Party. She told the newspaper that she had grown frustrated with the congressman's unwillingness to meet with constituents, and wanted to expose what she said was hypocrisy.

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