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Ethics panel extends probe of Georgia congressman over use of campaign funds

August 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it will extend its investigation into Rep. Sanford Bishop, a Georgia Democrat, due to evidence that his campaign had likely spent thousands of dollars on personal expenses and events in possible violation of House spending rules.

(CNN)The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it will extend its investigation into Rep. Sanford Bishop, a Georgia Democrat, due to evidence that his campaign had likely spent thousands of dollars on personal expenses and events in possible violation of House spending rules.

"There is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Bishop converted campaign funds from Sanford Bishop for Congress to personal use, or Rep. Bishop's campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes," the board of the Office of Congressional Ethics wrote in a corresponding report on Bishop.

In a statement Friday, the office wrote that Bishop "was made aware of mistakes made by his campaign and had already taken immediate action to bring it into compliance" before the review, with which he "has fully cooperated. "

Bishop has also hired a new campaign treasurer, a new compliance consultant to oversee campaign reports and lawyers to review the campaign finances, the office wrote.

In its report to the committee, the Office of Congressional Ethics said it had found evidence that Bishop's campaign committee had "likely spent tens of thousands of dollars in campaign funds on fuel, golf expenses, meals, travel, tuition, and entertainment that likely were personal in nature. "

The Office of Congressional Ethics determined that Bishop's former campaign committee treasurer, who was with him from 1993 until the fall of 2019, had misreported financial information to the Federal Election Commission for several years and "may have intentionally converted campaign funds to her personal use. " The office also discovered evidence that Bishop may have wrongly spent funds for the conduct of official representative duties to his district on four annual holiday parties for his and his wife's staffs.

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