The committee voted 6-0 to extend its investigation of the longtime congresswoman.
Washington, D.C. – The House Ethics Committee is extending its review of an ethics complaint against longtime Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo.
The committee says its decision to extend the probe indicates no wrongdoing by Bordallo or judgement by the panel and that it will have no further comment pending completion of its initial review. However, they gave no timeline.
But the panel disclosed both the nature of the alleged ethics violations and the congresswoman’s response.
The report includes that Bordallo owns a home in Guam that she may rent to the Japanese Consulate in Tamuning for a profit. The report indicates that if she received from a foreign government, it may violate House rules, standards of conduct and federal law.
The complaint goes on to say that Bordallo may also have received free lodging, meals and amenities at the Outrigger Guam Beach Resort for “multiple weeks per year” during her congressional service.
If true, the complaint says she may have also violated House rules and standards of conduct.
Further, the Congresswoman may have used official funds to pay for her lodging and meals at the resort. Again, the document says this would be a violation of rules, standards of conduct and federal law.
Finally, the complaint states Bordallo may have used congressional staff to perform “personal services related to maintaining her rental property in Guam, and assisting a Guam-based beauty pageant,”–a new revelation.
But in a six to nothing vote, the committee’s investigative board on June 2nd dismissed that charge as unfounded.
The board did decide in the same vote to recommend the Ethics Committee further review of the other charges, citing “substantial reason to believe” those.
The Congresswoman said in her response by legal counsel that the Office of Congressional Ethics pursued its probe based on the word of her former Chief of Staff who resigned after facing criminal charges.
The staffer was not mentioned by name, but the only Bordallo Chief of Staff who left amid criminal charges was John Whitt, who resigned in 2015. Bordallo’s lawyers also stated that her longstanding lease of her home to the Japanese Consulate preceded her service in Congress and that her family owned the Outrigger Resort, where she often stayed.
Her response added that she did not force her staff to perform personal work; that they had their own ties to the beauty pageant.
With the law and facts in her favor, her lawyers argued, the Ethics Committee should dismiss the entire case against her.