Rep. David Schweikert is confident House ethics probe nearing end
Jun 26, 2019, 8:25 AM
PHOENIX – It’s been nearly a year since a House Ethics panel subcommittee launched an investigation into U.S. Rep. David Schweikert and his former chief of staff over possible misuse of funds.
The committee has said a continued investigation wasn’t an indication that there had been any violation. Schweikert, who has a 2020 re-election campaign to run, isn’t troubled by the probe.
“I think it’s going to turn out fine. We’re probably going to get fussed at, saying we should have caught the reimbursement problem,” Schweikert told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Chad Benson Show on Tuesday.
The committee set the probe into motion June 28, 2018, assigning an investigative subcommittee to look into allegations that included the congressman had received illegal campaign contributions from then chief of staff Oliver Schwab and other staffers.
An April report from the Office of Congressional Ethics recommended further review of the claims, noting there was enough reason to “believe that Rep. Schweikert authorized expenditures from his (Members’ Representational Allowance) … that were not for permissible official expenses.”
Schweikert has said an employer who had been fired made the accusations. Schwab resigned last July after seven years in his position.
“No one took any money,” Schweikert said. “We can demonstrate that the stuff from the fired employee is crazy, but we did find an area where we were doing reimbursements the wrong way.”
Schweikert estimated, “This will be over in probably another three months because things move incredibly slow (in Washington, D.C.),” noting the panel will read years’ worth of his personal text messages and emails as well his work communications.
Three Democrats have announced their intentions to run for Schweikert’s District 6 seat – Dr. Hiral Tipirneni; Anita Malik, whom he defeated in 2018; and small-business owner Stephanie Rimmer.