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Ethics Committee clears Michigan Rep. Tlaib of wrongdoing, but orders funds to be returned

Ethics investigation started in 2018 over election payments

FILE - In this March 6, 2020 file photo, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaks at a campaign rally in Detroit. Tlaib won a challenge for her House seat in Michigan's Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 primary, in a rematch with the woman she narrowly defeated two years ago. Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, easily secured likely re-election to the 13th District in and around Detroit. Her opponent in the primary was Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
FILE - In this March 6, 2020 file photo, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., speaks at a campaign rally in Detroit. Tlaib won a challenge for her House seat in Michigan's Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 primary, in a rematch with the woman she narrowly defeated two years ago. Tlaib, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, easily secured likely re-election to the 13th District in and around Detroit. Her opponent in the primary was Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – An Ethics Committee investigation into payments received by Michigan Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib in 2018 found no wrongdoing, but orders her to return the funds.

The Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics released on report regarding Tlaib’s campaign spending during the 2018 election. The board found she was paid more than $17,000 from her campaign after the general election. While candidates are allowed to be paid by their campaign, it’s only for work performed through the general election.

The Ethics Committee released their findings on Friday:

While the Committee recognizes that the campaign environment can at times lend itself to hurried decision-making, as a Member-Elect of Congress, Representative Tlaib had a greater duty to ensure that any funding she received from her Campaign after her general election was fully compliant with statutory requirements and fully transparent with the public.

Based on its review, the Committee determined that Representative Tlaib did not comply with the letter of the relevant laws and regulations governing her receipt of salary payments from her Campaign.

The Committee did not find evidence, however, that Representative Tlaib intended to unjustly enrich herself, and recognizes that she made efforts to ensure her compliance with the applicable requirements. In light of this, the Committee determined that no sanction was merited, provided Representative Tlaib returns the funds that she improperly received to her Campaign in full within a year of the date of this Report, with the understanding that she can make smaller payments over the course of the year.

The Committee unanimously voted to adopt this Report and take no further action. Upon publication of this Report and the Committee’s receipt of a notification from Representative Tlaib of her satisfactory completion of the above steps, the Committee will consider this matter closed.

Tlaib won nomination for a second term in Congress this week, defeating Brenda Jones in the 2020 Michigan Primary Election. Tlaib was first elected to the seat in 2018. She formerly served in the Michigan House.


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