Rep. Elton Gallegly, a long-time advocate for stricter immigration policies, says night-shift maintenance workers could be behind the recent rash of thefts in House Member's offices.
"Is it possible people are working in the U.S. Capitol who have a key to my office, who have no legal rights to be here in the United States?" Gallegly recalls asking. The authorities, he said, responded: "yes."
Gallegly called it a "walk in, not a break-in."
The Capitol Police and House Sergeant-at-Arms have not publicly revealed the identity of any suspects related to the burglaries that have occurred sporadically over the past several months.
But an informed source confirmed to Roll Call that Gallegly was given information about the IG report on illegal workers in the AOC office.
One question Gallegly raised was whether maintenance workers hired through contractors were especially likely to be illegal immigrants. Malecki said that only a small portion of maintenance activities on the Capitol campus are performed by contracted workers.
Malecki said she doubts the culprit was a contract worker, who, she said, wouldn't have unlimited access to Members' offices.
"Contracted workers are never given master keys. A key tracking system is used when access to Members' offices is required and it involves workers signing out keys and returning them once the work is completed."
The breadth and scope of the inspector general's concerns will likely be revealed in the office's next semi-annual report to Congress, which, while not published online, is available to the public upon request. It will be released in October.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.