Ethics Watchdog Calls for Probe of U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright
Updated: Oct 8, 2019
FACT Says PA Congressman Sponsored Legislation
That Would Enrich Law Firm Tied to Him
Washington, D.C.—September 23, 2019—The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), today, filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) against U.S. Representative Matt Cartwright (D-PA) for violating House conflict of interest rules.
The complaint maintains that Congressman Cartwright improperly sponsored legislation that would require commercial truck drivers to purchase insurance liability coverage at a minimum of $4.5 million, which is a 600% hike from the current $750,000.
However, Cartwright has personal interests that prevent him from appearing to or actually acting impartially in this subject matter area. Cartwright was previously an attorney with Munley Law, a Pennsylvania law firm that specializes in personal injury cases involving commercial trucks. In fact, the firm “advertises itself as ‘the nation’s leading truck accident team.’” Cartwright’s wife, Marion Munley, is currently a partner with the firm, and both Cartwright and his wife have “profit-sharing agreements with Munley Law, together valued between $2 million and $10 million.”
In addition, Cartwright’s wife was the chair of a trial attorney trade group that advocated for the legislation. Because of these blatant conflicts of interest intended to enrich Cartwright, his wife and her employer, FACT is asking for an immediate investigation and to have any required penalties imposed.
According to FACT’s complaint, Cartwright’s actions fail to “reflect credibly on the House” because House ethics rules require Members of Congress “to refrain from taking official action when the Member has an apparent or actual conflict of interest. A conflict of interest exists when a Member’s private affairs appear to or actually do conflict with their ability to officially act on behalf of the public interest.” In this case, an even “stricter conflict analysis applies” because Cartwright has introduced specific legislation where his impartiality can be questioned.
“The conflict of interest rules maintain the integrity of Congressional action, as well as citizen’s confidence in government,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT). “Members of Congress are supposed to act impartially and there are so many facts in this case which cast doubt on Cartwright’s ability to do so when sponsoring this legislation,” added Arnold.
A full copy of the complaint can be found here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: www.factdc.org.