US rep's top aide cited for failing to report $54K

AP News
Posted: Aug 05, 2011 4:25 PM
US rep's top aide cited for failing to report $54K

The House Ethics Committee sanctioned the chief of staff to Democratic U.S. Rep. John Lewis on Friday for failing to report and pay taxes on $54,000 from re-election campaigns between 2005 and 2009.

The committee said in a letter that Michael Collins had "brought discredit" upon the House, but that he agreed to pay a $1,000 fine, correct any errors on his previous income tax records and pay back unpaid taxes, penalties and interest.

Collins said in a statement that he accepted the results of the report and was working to correct any errors he made.

"These mistakes were not intentional but were due to an inadvertent omission in disclosure," he said. "Regardless, I fully recognize that as a senior staff member in the U.S House of Representatives and most importantly as a chief of staff, it is my responsibility to know and follow the rules of financial disclosure."

The committee said in its letter that Collins argued he had never received tax documents from Lewis' campaign. But it said the failure to receive the documents is not a sufficient excuse for failing to disclose and pay taxes on the income over five years.