An investigation by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics into Congressman David Schweikert (AZ D-6), a Fountain Hills resident, has ended with Schweikert agreeing to a negotiated resolution with the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC).
With the agreement, announced last week, Schweikert admits to all 11 counts of the alleged violations, accepts a reprimand by the House and will pay a $50,000 fine. He is also waiving any further procedural rights regarding the investigation he has under House or committee rules.
In a phone conversation with The Times Schweikert said he finds the timing of the release “unconscionable.”
“This should have been done last year,” he said. “They waited until the very last date they could do this before the election.”
The leadership for the Committee on Ethics released the following statement on the settlement arrangement on July 30:
“The ISC unanimously concluded that there was substantial reason to believe that Representative David Schweikert violated House Rules, the code of ethics for Government Service, federal laws and other applicable standards in connection with: campaign finance violations and reporting errors by his authorized campaign committees; the misuse of Member’s Representational Allowance (MRA) for unofficial purposes; pressuring official staff to perform campaign work; and his lack of candor and due diligence during the investigation.”
The full committee accepted the ISC’s recommendations with a unanimous vote on July 29. The committee submitted its public report to the full House and the adoption of that report will serve as a reprimand of Schweikert for his misconduct and impose the fine of $50,000. The full House voted on Friday, July 31 to sanction the Congressman.
Schweikert submitted his response to the committee and the agreement in a statement to committee leadership in a letter dated June 27.
Schweikert stated he has already implemented several significant corrective and remedial measures to ensure he and his congressional and campaign offices comply with rules of conduct.
He further stated that the ISC report “has correctly concluded that no violation occurred with respect to a number of the allegations raised in the referrals…or that no further action is required.
“In addition, to resolve other allegations, the ISC and I have agreed to a settlement that will bring this matter to a close without a lengthy and expensive adjudicatory process.”
Schweikert went further and stated that although he agreed to the resolution, he does not fully concur with some of the conclusions of the ISC.
“I believe there are a number of assertions, findings and unfounded speculative statements in the report … that would be proven false or misleading if subjected the scrutiny of a full adjudicatory process,” Schweikert said. “Although the…process would provide … an opportunity to challenge aspects of the report and SAV I believe to be misleading, inaccurate, or unfair, it would require financial resources that I do not have and would significantly delay closure for me and my family.
Schweikert said he accepts the conclusion that there was a “failure to supervise” on his part.
The investigation focused on Schweikert’s former Chief of Staff, Oliver Schwab, Jr. who resigned under the shadow of the probe in the summer of 2018.
The ISC was initially looking into whether Schwab may have used or authorized expenditures from Schweikert’s MRA for improper uses; whether Schweikert’s campaign committee may have received improper campaign contributions from Schwab and other individuals employed in his congressional office; whether Schwab received compensation in excess of an income limit for senior staff and whether Schwab failed to file complete disclosure statements as required by House rules.