Ethics Watchdog Calls for Probe into Rep. Brian Higgins of New York
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Evidence Shows Rep. Higgins Failed to Properly Disclose Three Stock Transactions
Washington, D.C.— October 18, 2021— The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), sent the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) a letter immediately calling for an investigation into Rep. Brian Higgins (NY) for violating federal law and U.S. House of Representatives ethics rules.
Federal law and House ethics rules require Members to disclose financial information to the public, including financial disclosure reports that provide a "full and complete" statement of the Member's and their spouse's assets, debts, and income, as well as periodic reports of financial transactions that exceed $1,000 within 30 days of the transactions (but never more than 45 days after the transaction).
Contrary to the legal requirement, Rep. Higgins failed to adequately disclose three stock transactions valued at up to $115,000. In September 2020, Rep. Higgins sold up to a combined $65,000 worth of stock in Micron Inc., a computer-data-storage company, and Sphere 3D Corp., a software-development company. Additionally, he purchased up to $50,000 in stock for Nvidia Corp., a computer-system company. Higgins did not disclose these financial transactions until August of 2021, about 11 months past the federal deadline. Additionally, Higgins disclosed the transactions on his Personal Financial Disclosure valued at up to $115,000, but on the two Periodic Transaction Reports he filed on the same day, the transactions appear to be valued at up to $150,000.
"The financial disclosure law is necessary and clear, and it must be strictly enforced to ensure that members do not use their official position for self-enrichment. This case is especially egregious because not only did Rep. Higgins apparently fail to report his stock trades as required, but he was fully aware of his duty to do so as he is a cosponsor of the financial disclosure law that he himself violated. He has even spoken out about other Members violating this particular law. The hypocrisy in this case is astounding, and the OCE must act immediately to ensure Rep. Higgins is compliant with the most basic ethics requirement by imposing the proper punishment for this violation,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the Higgins complaint can be found by clicking here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/