House Ethics Clears Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Wrongdoing

Arizona congressman was investigated related to a settlement with a former staffer

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., has been cleared of ethics charges related to a settlement paid to a former staffer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The House Ethics Committee has cleared Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of wrongdoing related to a $48,000 settlement paid to a female staffer in 2015.

The Arizona Democrat settled with the former staffer in 2015 after she accused him of creating a hostile work environment and being intoxicated and left Grijalva’s office after working there just three months.

The House Ethics Committee letter, dated Dec. 14, says the committee was dismissing the complaint against Grijalva related to the payment.

In May, the Office of Congressional Ethics referred the case to the House Ethics panel. Lawmakers on that panel unanimously voted to dismiss the case against Grijalva, which matched the recommendation from the OCE. 

“The committee considers its review of the allegation closed,” said the letter, signed by Susan W. Brooks and Ted Deutch, the chairwoman and ranking member of House Ethics. 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke brought up the drinking issue in a tweet after Grijalva criticized Zinke’s stewardship of the department, saying, “It’s hard for him to think straight from the bottom of the bottle.”

Zinke announced Saturday he is resigning from his cabinet post as investigations into his travel, political activity and potential conflicts of interest have dogged him.

Grijalva is expected to take over as chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, which oversees the Interior Department. Grijalva’s office said over the weekend that it intends to ask for Zinke to testify in hearings after the new Congress convenes.

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