Evidence Shows Lee Lobbied for The Expansion of Federal Aid to Gaming Companies, Directly Benefitting Her Husband
Washington, D.C.— June 12, 2020— 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 Representative Susie Lee of Nevada for advocating the expansion of federal aid to gaming companies of which she and her husband hold substantial stock. Additionally, her husband is the Chief Executive Officer of one of these companies.
According to FACT, on April 7, 2020, Lee sent a letter to the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration in which she lobbied the federal agencies to expand government aid to gaming companies under the Paycheck Protection Program, which granted forgivable loans to businesses. Lee argued the current regulatory guidelines were “patently contrary to Congressional intent.” On April 28, 2020, the regulatory guidelines were changed as Lee requested. Two weeks later, Full House received two loans totaling $5.6 million.
The filing states, “One company that benefitted from the change for which Lee advocated was Full House Resorts. This is a publicly traded company, of which Lee’s husband is the chief executive officer and in which they together have a significant financial interest. According to her latest personal financial disclosure filed in 2019, Lee’s spouse earns a salary from Full House and Lee and her spouse own ‘millions of dollars in Full House stock and stock options through brokerage, trust, and retirement accounts.’”
“Conflict of interest laws are some of the oldest and most important ethics laws on the books. This appears to be a fairly straightforward violation--Lee couldn't be any more directly tied to the company through both her own and her husband's interests, and she advocated for regulatory changes that would, and in fact did, benefit the company. The OCE needs to thoroughly investigate this case as soon as possible," said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
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