Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics on Selection of Ethics Staff Director
Chairman K. Michael Conaway and Ranking Member Linda T. Sánchez are pleased to announce the selection of Thomas A. Rust as Staff Director and Chief Counsel of the Committee on Ethics. The Committee unanimously agreed to the appointment of Mr. Rust, who is already employed by the Committee, effective today.
“Tom’s experience on both the Committee’s advice and education and investigation teams makes him uniquely qualified to lead the Committee,” Chairman Conaway said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with Tom’s leadership and work ethic thus far and he will continue to ensure that the Committee serves the House community with integrity and fairness.”
“I have been impressed by Tom’s work since I joined the Committee,” Ranking Member Sánchez said. “His counsel and judgment have earned him the trust and respect of the Members of the Committee and his coworkers alike, and he is a highly valued member of our team.”
“I am humbled by the trust the Committee has placed in me,” said Rust. “It is a true honor to work for Chairman Conaway and Ranking Member Sánchez, who are public servants of the highest order. Under their leadership, the Committee has approached every issue that has come before them in a serious, thoughtful, and nonpartisan manner, and I look forward to continuing the critical work of the Committee in improving the public’s trust in their elected officials.”
The Committee has sole jurisdiction over the interpretation of the Code of Official Conduct, which governs the actions of Members and staff. The Committee is the only standing House committee with equal numbers of Democratic and Republican Members. The Committee’s staff is required by rule to be, and is, professional and nonpartisan. The Committee manages five critical responsibilities: training, advice and education, review of privately sponsored travel, financial disclosure, and investigations.
The Chairman and Ranking Member noted that the Committee has received numerous resumes to lead the Committee’s staff, and chose Mr. Rust from many qualified candidates. Mr. Rust has worked as a nonpartisan staff attorney on the Committee on Ethics since 2009. He has served the Committee in a number of roles, including most recently as Interim Staff Director and Chief Counsel. Prior to that assignment, he held senior positions in the Committee’s investigations and advice and education units.
Before he joined the Committee, Mr. Rust worked in private practice for eight years at two prestigious firms, where his work included representing companies and individuals in government investigations, counseling clients on ethics and compliance issues, and litigation. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and the University of Virginia College of Arts and Sciences.