The House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into whether Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-FL, violated House rules by engaging in a personal relationship with a staffer or accepting inappropriate gifts, The New York Times reports.
Hastings, 83, has been open about his relationship with longtime aide Patricia Williams, who has worked for him since at least 2000. The pair bought a house together in 2017.
The relationship came under renewed scrutiny after Rep. Katie Hill, D-CA, resigned amid an ethics investigation into an alleged relationship she had with a staffer, which she denied.
“As they continue to conduct their work, I stand ready to fully cooperate with their inquiry,” Hastings said on Thursday.
Hastings was impeached as federal judge:
Hastings is also facing an investigation into whether he accepted gifts, which stems from his impeachment and removal as a federal judge in 1989, after he was found guilty of eight counts of impeachment, including one that said he accepted a $150,000 bribe.
Williams was his lawyer at the time.
Hastings still owes legal fees to her, which he believes is the reason for the committee’s investigation into “inappropriate gifts.”
Another rep under investigation:
The announcement came on the same day that it was revealed that the Justice Department is investigating Rep. Ross Spano, R-FL, over campaign finance violations.
Spano reported more than $100,000 in what he claimed were personal contributions to his campaign before it was revealed that the money was contributed by his friends.
He later admitted the filings “may have been in violation” of the law that restricts the size of donations.
“As I’ve said before, we acknowledged that mistakes were made with respect to the campaign loans, but those mistakes were completely inadvertent and unintentional,” Mr. Spano said in a statement. “We were the ones who self-reported this to the F.E.C. We are confident that upon review, the Justice Department will see it that way, too.”