Political Activities by Hill Staffers Probed
The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has sent a letter to the House ethics committee asking lawmakers to investigate claims that congressional staff members were forced to support political campaigns.
The letter comes after Laura I. Flores, a former aide to Reps. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) and Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), was sentenced to six months in prison Friday after she pleaded guilty in January to wire fraud for embezzling $200,000 from official accounts controlled by her former employers.
Prosecutors petitioned to reduce Flores' sentence in exchange for help with the inquiry into whether members of Congress used phones, supplies and staff time for campaign purposes, a source familiar with the case told the Post's Carrie Johnson.
"These examples suggest that the misuse of official resources may be a pervasive problem, wrote CREW's executive director, Melanie Sloan, in a letter to the committee's two ranking members. "While most members undoubtedly take care to ensure that their office staffers do not engage in campaign work while in House offices on government time, it appears that many do not."
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