FACT Calls for Congressional Ethics Probe of U.S. Representative Alcee Hastings
Updated: Oct 27, 2020
Today, FACT filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics today, requesting an investigation into Representative Alcee Hastings (FL-20) for using taxpayer funds to overcompensate his longtime girlfriend Patricia Williams.
Even though the personal relationship between Rep. Hastings and Patricia Williams is not prohibited, their relationship along with the facts that Williams has been paid the maximum amount permitted by law for several years and is Hastings’ highest compensated employee, but not the staff member that generally has the most responsibilities, indicates serious ethical concerns.
As the deputy director of the Congressman's Broward County district office, Williams earns more than Rep. Hastings’ D.C. chief of staff, the top person responsible for overall office functions and typically the highest-paid person in a congressional office. The House Code of Official Conduct clearly prohibits a Member from retaining employees on the Member’s payroll who do not perform official duties commensurate with the compensation received. Furthermore, each Member is personally “accountable for the pay and performance of staff.” Williams has collected nearly $2.4 million in salary since 2000 for her work in the Broward County district office.
"By lavishly paying his girlfriend, the evidence here clearly suggests Congressman Hastings has been abusing the use of taxpayer funds, potentially for years," said Matthew Whitaker, Executive Director of the Foundation for Accountability & Civic Trust. "It is this type of behavior, using a prominent government position to financially reward family and friends, which contributes to the public's mistrust of government and government officials."
FACT urges the Office of Congressional Ethics to immediately investigate and take appropriate action in response to this apparent and egregious violation of congressional rules.