The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and the civic arena, compiles an annual list of the worst ethics violators.
In 2017, the top prize had to go to the members of Congress who used taxpayer dollars for secret settlements paid out to victims of sexual harassment. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is leading an effort to unveil those names in the name of transparency.
Former DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the runner up on FACT's unflattering list.
For months, Wasserman Schultz kept a House IT aide on her payroll who was under criminal investigation. Everyone else had fired him.
2. Rep. Wasserman Schultz Employs House IT Aide under Criminal Investigation: In July, FACT filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) for continuing to employ and compensate House IT Aide, Imran Awan after he was barred from the House computer system and under criminal investigation. According to FACT’s complaint, Wasserman Schultz refused to remove Awan from House payroll and compensated Awan with taxpayer funds for several months – even though he was barred from the House computer system which would prevent him from performing any reasonable IT work. In fact, Wasserman Schultz only fired Awan after he was arrested on bank fraud charges attempting to flee the country the morning of July 25, 2017. Wasserman Schultz is in clear violation of House Ethics Rules as Members are directly responsible for ensuring their staff are only paid for official public work. (FACT)
In case you missed that bit at the end, it wasn't until Awan was confronted at an airport and arrested trying to flee to Pakistan that Wasserman Schultz finally kicked him off his salary.
Awan, currently in the High Intensity Supervision Program (HISP), is a "flight risk" and may attempt to get another ticket to Pakistan if a judge approves his request to lift all of the conditions of his release, according to federal prosecutors.
The other three top ethics violators of 2017 are Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) for allowing the same individual to serve as both his campaign treasurer and chief of staff, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) for using taxpayer funds to overcompensate his girlfriend, and DNC Chairman Tom Perez for illegally transferring funds from his campaign account to pay off the debts of his former opponents.
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