Outgoing U.S. Representative Marlin Stutzman may be target of ethics investigation

Third District Rep. Marlin Stutzman may be investigated by the U.S. House Committee on Ethics.

The U.S. House Committee on Ethics members released a statement that said it “will announce its course of action” by Nov. 29, according to the Journal Gazette and our reporting partners at WOWO.

In April, the Associated Press reported that Stutzman, R-3rd, billed his campaign more than $2,000 for a family trip to California. Stutzman said the Federal Election Commission had approved the expenses because he conducted political work during the trip.

The AP also reported in May that Stutzman paid his brother-in-law about $170,000 to manage his finances of his congressional campaign. Before working for Stutzman, his brother-in-law was a car salesman and actor. Stutzman said he trusted his relative to “protect every dollar that comes from donors.”

“The Committee notes that the mere fact of a referral or an extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such an extension and the name of the subject of the matter, does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred, or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee,” the ethics committee told the Journal Gazette.

The Office of Congressional Ethics sent the matter to the U.S. House Committee on Ethics on Aug. 31, according to the statement.

“I can only respond that I have always done everything I can to follow our House Rules and there is not an allegation in the referral from OCE that I have violated any ethics or other rules of the House,” Stutzman said in a statement.

Stutzman was elected to congress in 2010. He did not seek re-election. Instead, he ran for a Senate seat, but lost to Rep. Todd Young in the GOP primary election.

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