The House Ethics Committee released a report on Reyes by an outside ethics office.
“The OCE repeatedly erred in its dealings with Mr. Reyes. He sought to explain to OCE why the article’s claims were not supported, but to no avail. He repeatedly asked for evidence against him that would support the matter’s continued pursuit, so that he could respond, but OCE refused to provide it,” the letter from Sandstrom and his colleague read.
Sandstrom told CQ Roll Call that the evidence against Reyes amounted to “five meals that were miscoded” in the House dining room that have subsequently been explained.
“On the very eve of Mr. Reyes’s departure from the Congress, the committee should take care not to release a flawed report and findings that would otherwise be the last word on almost forty-six years of public service,” the response said.
Reyes lost his primary in a redrawn district to former El Paso City Councilman Beto O’Rourke. Unrelated ethics charges made by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington were emphasized during the campaign.
An earlier version of this story incorrectly quoted a portion of the OCE report. The report said that the board "draws a negative inference from that refusal to cooperate."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.