OCE

Ethics report on former Schweikert chief of staff raises questions about lawmaker’s conduct
Schweikert says he will not let ethics cloud deter re-election efforts

Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., said the ethics investigation into him and his chief of staff was prompted by a disgruntled former employee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. David Schweikert’s former chief of staff used official funds on a six-day trip to Arizona in which he attended Super Bowl XLIX; separately, he made impermissible contributions to his boss and received income beyond the House’s outside earned income limit for his position, according to a report made public Wednesday by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

Many of the allegations into the former chief of staff, Richard Oliver Schwab, Jr., relate to Schweikert, who is under the scrutiny of a House Ethics Committee investigative subcommittee.

Office of Congressional Ethics starts year with a whisper, not a bang
OCE board appointees not announced until first quarter was nearly over

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced their appointments to the Office of Congressional Ethics board on March 18. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The Office of Congressional Ethics took no actions in the first quarter of the 116th Congress, due in part to its board not being filled until mid-March.

On March 18, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced appointees for the 116th Congress, including former Reps. David Skaggs, D-Colo., who now chairs OCE; Karan English, D-Ariz.; Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga.; and Mike Barnes, D-Md., who serves as an alternate. Allison Hayward, a conservative law professor and McCarthy pick, is the newly appointed co-chair.

Tips and calls to the Office of Congressional Ethics spiked last session
More than 13,300 private citizens reached out to group charged with reviewing misconduct allegations

Incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi receives the gavel from outgoing House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in January. The pair announced Office of Congressional Ethics appointees for the 116th Congress on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Citizen outreach to the Office of Congressional Ethics more than doubled in the 115th Congress, but the agency’s pre-election blackout period means they didn’t take action on any cases in the last quarter of 2018.

More than 13,300 private citizens contacted the Office of Congressional Ethics during the 115th Congress, up from 6,285 in the 114th Congress, according to the OCE’s most recent quarterly report. The contacts fall into two categories: allegations of misconduct and requests for information about the OCE.