Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics Regarding Representative Alcee Hastings
Pursuant to Committee Rule 7, the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee on Ethics (Committee) determined to release the following statement:
On May 14, 2019, the Committee, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a), began investigating allegations arising out of Representative Alcee Hastings’ personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office. Specifically, the Committee investigated whether Representative Hastings’ relationship with the employed individual is in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 18(a), and whether Representative Hastings has received any improper gifts, including any forbearance, from that employee. On November 14, 2019, the Committee announced it was aware of public allegations arising out of Representative Hastings’ relationship, and that it was investigating and gathering more information regarding those allegations.
During its review, the Committee became aware that Representative Hastings has been married to the individual employed in his congressional office since January 2019. Accordingly, Representative Hastings is not in violation of House Rule XXIII, clause 18(a), as its terms do not apply to relationships between two people who are married to each other, nor is he in violation of the House Gift Rule, which permits Members to accept gifts from relatives. However, the Committee continued to review Representative Hastings’ conduct prior to his marriage. The Committee also considered whether Representative Hastings had complied with the laws and rules relating to nepotism.
Following its review, the Committee determined to take no further action in this matter. The Committee’s determination was based on the particular facts of the matter, including the fact that Representative Hastings’ spouse’s employment began prior to the 113th Congress and is therefore not prohibited under clause 8(c) of House Rule XXIII. The Committee considers this matter closed.