“Substantial reason” to believe that he misused resources

Congressional ethics investigators said Monday they found evidence that gives them “substantial reason” to believe that U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn misused official resources and solicited or accepted inappropriate gifts from subordinates.

Colorado Springs Republican aides told nonpartisan investigators with the Congressional Ethics Office Board of Directors that they were frequently asked to run errands for Lamborn’s wife, Jeanie, and that they were instructed to help Lamborn’s son apply for a federal job.

“If mum isn’t happy, no one is happy,” Jeanie Lamborn allegedly told an unnamed staff member, according to their account to investigators.

The board unanimously recommended that the US Ethics Committee further investigate the allegations against Lamborn.

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of conducting a further review of a referral, and any mandatory disclosure of such further review, does not in itself indicate that a violation has occurred, nor does it reflect judgment on behalf of the Committee,” U.S. Representative Ted said. Deutch, D-Florida, and Jackie Walorski, R-Indiana, said in a joint statement.

Brandon Pope, a former Lamborn staffer, filed a federal lawsuit last year alleging Lamborn ignored COVID-19 precautions — including mask-wearing and social distancing — and created conditions of dangerous work in his offices.

The lawsuit also accused Lamborn of using his position in Congress to benefit his family, forcing staff to run errands for his wife. Lamborn allegedly allowed his son to live in a storage room in the basement of the U.S. Capitol for several weeks and ordered staff members to help the son find jobs at a federal database and prepare for interviews. .

Lamborn’s spokeswoman, Cassandra Sebastian, said in a written statement Monday that the Congressional Ethics Office was “overzealous.” In a rebuttal letter, Lamborn called the office “biased” against him.

“It is extremely disappointing that two disgruntled former staffers have weaponized the ethics process for political and personal gain,” Sebastian said. “Repute Lamborn intends to cooperate fully with the bipartisan House Committee on Ethics, as he has done with all reasonable requests from the OCE. He remains certain that the committee will ultimately take the appropriate decision by rejecting the OCE’s referral and he expects to be fully exonerated.

The Congressional Ethics Office said that “at least five of Rep. Lamborn’s current and former members have said they performed personal duties for the Lamborns.” A staff member said they were asked to help move the Lamborns’ furniture and set up Zoom calls for Jeanie Lamborn.

At least one current staff member “declared doing errands for Ms Lamborn as ‘unofficial errands’.” mail and shopping or personal services.

“Ms. Lamborn’s significant involvement in Rep. Lamborn’s office has led former staff members to feel compelled to comply with her demands,” an OCE report said. explained that Rep. Lamborn’s chief of staff, Dale Anderson, made it clear that “Ms. Lamborn takes precedence.”

Lamborn was interviewed by congressional investigators as part of their investigation. He said he didn’t think his wife would ask staff members for help with personal errands.

“We try to follow the rules very carefully and very sincerely,” Lamborn said. “So I don’t think she would knowingly do that.”

The Ethics Office also said current and former personnel told investigators they were asked to help Lamborn’s son apply for a job at the Pentagon.

“While Rep. Lamborn states that his son received the same assistance in the hiring process that an ordinary voter would receive, the OCE found testimonial and documentary evidence to the contrary,” the report said.

Finally, the report says Anderson, Lamborn’s chief of staff, may have been authorized to solicit gifts from aides on the congressman’s behalf.

“It is never permissible for a member (of Congress) to solicit a donation from a
subordinate,” the report said. “To the extent that Representative Lamborn failed to supervise Mr. Anderson’s repeated instructions that staff members provide gifts to Representative Lamborn and his family, Representative Lamborn may be liable for the solicitation of gifts in violation federal law.”

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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