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Thu Nov 14, 2019, 09:06 PM

Ethics panel announces Florida Democrat faces investigation over allegations of relationship

Source: CNN



Washington (CNN)The House Ethics Committee announced on Thursday that Democratic Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida is facing an investigation over allegations of a relationship with one of his staffers. "The Committee is aware of public allegations arising out of Representative Alcee Hastings' personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office.

On May 14, 2019, the Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), began an investigation regarding the allegations," a statement released by the chair and ranking member for the House Ethics committee said.CNN has reached out to Hastings' congressional office with a request for comment, but did not immediately receive a response. Hastings told the South Florida Sun Sentinel in a statement that he has "cooperated with the committee," and that, "As they continue to conduct their work, I stand ready to fully cooperate with their inquiry."

In an article published in October, the Palm Beach Post reported that the congressman told the newspaper in April that "he remained in a relationship with a member of his congressional staff," but said that "he is unconcerned with the appearance of impropriety generated by his relationship."

The statement released by the Ethics committee says, "The Committee is specifically considering whether Representative Hastings' relationship with the individual employed in his congressional office is in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 18(a), and whether Representative Hastings has received any improper gifts, including any forbearance, from that employee. The Committee continues to gather additional information regarding the allegations."

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/14/politics/house-ethics-committee-investigation-alcee-hastings/index.html



Full headline: Ethics panel announces Florida Democrat faces investigation over allegations of relationship with a staffer

He has a long and storied history... to put it mildly. He is also on the Rules Committee and when they were doing their markup of what became H.R. 660 (the Impeachment Inquiry rules), he let both sides know about his previous drama and having been the only one in that room who had been impeached and removed (from the bench when he was a judge) and then he later ran for Congress and won. He may be able to cite a technicality in the Ethics rules that were apparently changed last year.

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Reply Ethics panel announces Florida Democrat faces investigation over allegations of relationship (Original post)
BumRushDaShow Nov 14 OP
guillaumeb Nov 14 #1
BumRushDaShow Nov 14 #2
Zorro Nov 14 #3
vsrazdem Nov 15 #4
BumRushDaShow Nov 15 #6
VarryOn Nov 15 #5

Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 09:37 PM

1. Under the Vitter Rule,

and if he were a GOP Member, nothing would be done.

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Response to guillaumeb (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 09:41 PM

2. Yup.

That's why Gaetz's ass is still there along with Gymsuit Jordan. No matter the criminality, they remain.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2019, 09:54 PM

3. Alcee Hastings has a pretty notorious record

I think it's time for him to retire gracefully and let someone with a less controversial history take his place.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2019, 12:40 AM

4. I am so confused. Is there some kind of different standard for men than women. Didn't

we just have Katie Hill resign (pushed out) over this exact issue?

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Response to vsrazdem (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 15, 2019, 05:27 AM

6. This was the allegation by a Palm Beach, FL paper

https://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/20191031/alcee-hastingsrsquo-relationship-with-aide-appears-to-flout-house-rule

Not a different standard in that sense but by timing and version of the rule at the time he engaged in the conduct.

After being newly-elected, she ended up being impacted by the new more-restrictive version of the ethics rule (enacted last year per the OP article). I.e., per the OP article -

According to the code of official conduct for the House of Representatives, a lawmaker is not permitted to engage in "a sexual relationship with any employee of the House who works under the(ir) supervision." House rules were changed last year to ban relationships between members and their staff.


The current rule -

18. (a) A Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner may not engage in a sexual relationship with any employee of the House who works under the supervision of the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner, or who is an employee of a committee on which the Member, Delegate, or Resident Commissioner serves. This paragraph does not apply with respect to any relationship between two people who are married to each other.

https://ethics.house.gov/publication/code-official-conduct


His situation began several decades earlier, under less explicit/applicable House Rules and in his case (per the Palm Beach paper's previous reporting from 7 years ago), the rules dealt more with nepotism (disallowing hiring of direct family members including spouses, which has now changed in the current rules) -

Girlfriend on payroll? Hastings deflects question about ‘my personal business’

George Bennett
Posted on March 26, 2012

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, is highlighted in a new Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington report for paying $622,574 between 2007 and 2010 to a staffer the watchdog group describes as Hastings’ girlfriend.

Congressional rules generally disallow hiring spouses and family members, but don’t address significant others.

The CREW report says Hastings Deputy District Director Patricia Williams is an example of a congressional “family” member drawing a salary or fees. Hastings disputes the “family” characterization. Asked directly if Williams is his girlfriend, Hastings said, via e-mail:

“No family members work in any of the Congressional offices that I am privileged to serve. Furthermore, my personal business is just that, personal.”


The question at this point is whether there is a "grandfathering" of the new rule to apply to previous conduct.

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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2019, 12:59 AM

5. I cant think of an ethical issue more cut-and-dried...

Than "dont diddle with staff." It's not a hard policy to follow. And not putting yourself in a position to even be suspected is easy. I have zero sympathy for those that find themselves embroiled in suspicion.

That said...Democrats are always under much closer scrutiny. Totally unfair, but it's an even greater reason to go even further to stay above suspicion. Fair? Absolutely NOT!

Our people have to go above and beyond in their efforts on this.

Republicans have no such requirements. The poke anyone with no second thought to who knows. We should turn in any of them that we have even the slightest hint on! To hell with thm!,

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