Just recently, an ethics complaint was filed against a Democratic congressman in Missouri. Apparently, he allegedly used taxpayer money to pay a “ghost employee” who used to work at McDonald’s and didn’t have any formal IT training as an IT worker for about three years. He also reportedly let someone who wasn’t on his staff have access to his servers.
Specifically, Kendra Arnold, the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust (FACT), which is a “a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas,” recently submitted an ethics complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics against U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO).
In her complaint, Arnold accused Cleaver of employing Rao Abbas, a former McDonald’s manager with no formal IT training, as an IT worker and paying him roughly $60,000 in taxpayer money even though he reportedly didn’t do any work.
On top of that, she also claimed that Cleaver accepted IT services from Imran Awan, a former Information Technologies (IT) aide for the Democratic House who was recently indicted on several charges of “bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions,” even though he wasn’t actually on his staff.
“The facts appear simple: Cleaver accepted IT services from Awan, who he did not employ and who he gave access to data and the House IT system. Moreover, Cleaver used taxpayer dollars to pay over $60,0000 to Abbas, who he did not know, and the evidence indicates did not do work for him,” argued Arnold in her complaint.
“The legal and ethical violations that stem from these facts are serious and far-reaching, but there are two clear straightforward violations,” she continued.
“First, Members are prohibited from accepting services from non-employees. Because this was also in the context of accepting IT services, the House Information Security Policy also applies, which forbids Members from allowing non-staffers to be administrators,” explained Arnold.
“Second, Members are prohibited from employing individuals who do not actually perform work,” she added.
After pointing this out, Arnold claimed that “the facts of this case indicate that each of these ethics rules may have been blatantly violated.”
To clarify, she stated, “Cleaver admitted that he accepted services from an individual he did not employ. Additionally, he also indicated he used House payroll to pay an individual he did not know and apparently did not perform work for his office.”
Although Cleaver’s misconduct is undoubtedly reprehensible, sadly, it’s not entirely shocking. This is because the Democratic Party is full of unethical individuals.
For example, earlier this month, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) was found guilty of 47 criminal charges of “conspiracy…bribery, attempted extortion, false statements to federal officials, honest services fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud.” He also reportedly changed city contracts “in order to raise money for his campaigns for Mayor.”
As of now, a date for sentencing has not been set. When it does eventually come, he faces 20 years in prison for each count of corruption. Until that day arrives, though, he’ll be free on bail.
And just before that, back in February, detectives with the New York Police Department arrested Juliet Germanotta, a 36-year-old transgender democrat campaigning against Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), and charged her with “third-degree grand larceny” for stealing an “18-karat yellow gold Zambian emerald and diamond ring” worth $4,800 from Mikaelians Jewelry in New York City.
According to reports, Germanotta, who describes herself as a “proud transgender woman” and “ordained minister” had ordered the ring from the jewelry shop back in September 2017. Upon receiving it, however, she complained that it wasn’t to her liking and told them that she would be returning it.
But, rather than send them the real ring, she decided to send them a “phony” one worth about $10. The jewelry experts at the shop, though, weren’t fooled by her obvious scam and promptly reported her to the local police.
After returning the fake ring, Germanotta then sold the real one to an unsuspecting buyer, who learned that it was stolen upon having it appraised.
When law enforcement officials finally caught up with her and questioned her about the theft, she reportedly confessed to the crime and was subsequently placed in handcuffs.
Several weeks prior to Germanotta’s arrest, a Democratic mayor in Florida was also busted for corruption.
Specifically, Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) signed an executive order earlier this month officially suspending Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper (D). He did so shortly after the FBI charged her with felony “campaign finance violations, official misconduct, and money laundering“ for using bribe money that she laundered to illegally fund her re-election campaign.
Unethical conduct of any kind must not be tolerated. Hopefully, the Office of Congressional Ethics listens to Arnold and launches an investigation into Cleaver. If it’s ultimately concluded that he is, in fact, guilty of an ethics violation, then hopefully he’s punished as harshly as possible to deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future.