Rep. Stockman facing House Ethics review

Rep. Steve Stockman (R) lost a Senate primary in Texas last month by more than 40 points. Now, he is facing a review by the House Ethics Committee.

Stockman on Friday posted a statement to his website acknowledging that the Ethics Committee had decided to extend its probe into what the congressman called a campaign “reporting error” that was committed more than a year ago.

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The bipartisan House panel has until Sunday to make a statement on Stockman’s case, and because the deadline falls on a weekend, the committee is not likely to formally announce its move until Monday. A committee spokesman declined to comment.

The independent Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) disclosed earlier this week that it had referred a case to the full Ethics Committee, but it did not name the member.

Stockman’s office said the allegation was in reference to a Federal Election Commission reporting error that was made by an accountant who was volunteering for his House campaign. When the problem was discovered six months later, the accountant was removed from his position and the committee has since been shuttered, his office said.

“My office is aware of and is cooperating fully with the Ethics Committee’s preliminary inquiry into an FEC reporting error,” Stockman said in a statement. “I thus join 34 of my colleagues who have also been the subject of an OCE review in the 113th Congress, and am confident the Ethics Committee will ultimately dismiss the matter after it completes a careful review.”

His office noted that the FEC did not fine him for the error because it was corrected. 

A Stockman spokesman, Donny Ferguson, said the reporting error referred to contributions to his congressional campaign that were incorrectly attributed to the families of two of his staffers, Jason Posey and Thomas Dodd. The campaign later corrected its filings to note that the contributions came from Posey and Dodd themselves, which raised questions because House employees are prohibited from making campaign contributions to the lawmakers who employ them. Ferguson said neither Posey nor Dodd were employees of Stockman at the time of their contributions.

Stockman, a Tea Party conservative, returned to the House last year after serving a single term in the 1990s. Instead of running for reelection, he mounted a long-shot primary challenge to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) earlier this year and lost handily, 59 percent to 19 percent.

The full OCE report detailing the allegations has not yet been made public.

This story was updated at 4:36 p.m.