However, the announcement of the Ethics Panel triggered the public release of the OCE report, which shows a broader pattern of unfair spending over a long period of time by bishops.
“The OCE determined that Rep. Bishop and his campaign committee provided funding for the campaign at various personal expenses. In particular, the OCE found evidence that the Sanford diocese may have provided fuel, golf, to the Congressional campaign committee. Thousands of dollars were spent on its expenses. The watchdog stated in its report that the possibility of food, travel, tuition, and entertainment was personal in nature.
“The OCE also obtained evidence suggesting the delegate. The bishop may have spent the Members’ Representative Allowance (MRA) money on an annual holiday ceremony in violation of House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”
The bishop’s office issued a statement saying that the bishop had replaced his long-time treasurer and retained the famous Democratic law firm Perkins Coe.
The diocese’s office also said it repaid some of the money it alleged to have been misappropriated, although it did not specify how much damage the Veteran lawmaker did.
The Bishop’s office said, “The Office of Congress Ethics (OCE) informed them before its review that they had been made aware of the mistakes made by their campaign and had already taken immediate action to bring it into compliance.” Had gone, “the bishop’s office said. “The congressional bishop has fully cooperated in the OCE’s review and has reimbursed a number of falsely identified allegations. He will continue to work openly and transparently with the Ethics Committee, and further, the necessary corrective Ready to take action. “
“The Congressmen believe that these mistakes should never have started. To go further, they want to provide better oversight to ensure such errors,” the statement said.
Yet OCE’s findings portray a disturbing picture of a lawgiver who was loose – at best – to keep his records for the use of campaign funds. For example, the OCE found that Bishop’s wife and family may have fuel costs incurred by the campaign, but neither of them kept a mileage log, so it was impossible to determine what the campaign use was vs. personal use .
Congressional country club fees – totaling more than $ 70,000 – also had little or no record of support for using those funds for this purpose, paid by the campaign.
Reports state that at first, the OCE did not keep a record with the Bishop of who he dines with or who is golfing and that such outings have a campaign purpose. “Additionally, Rep. Bishop described the way the golf club was used, raising personal use concerns. In particular, Rep. Bishop stated that he considered his time at the club to be campaign-related Are because it gives them the opportunity to ‘run’. Supporters and constituents and then discuss political issues during a golf or meal round. “
The report states: “In other words, the representative bishop is not conducting specific fundraising events at the club; instead, he is using the club’s facilities, at least on some occasions, for himself or his wife. With, and then interacting with supporters and constituents who find him at a round of golf or during Sunday brunch. “
The OCE report described health problems with Bishop’s longtime campaign treasurer, Evelyn Turner Pugh, who reportedly had memory loss for several years and sometimes while preparing the Federal Election Commission report Fall asleep
As OCE reports, Charanda Huff, who eventually replaced Pugh, “also reported that Mrs Pugh had difficulty typing, and that she often waited until the report was tried and spent.” Reports are not prepared due to months of campaign expenditure. In recent months, [Huff] Mrs Pugh was described as having some memory loss. “
According to Huff, Bishop was “clumsy and bloated” when he was told about the problems inside the campaign last summer.