Sanchez Sisters Under House Ethics Investigation for Payroll Scandal
Rep. Linda Sanchez Violates House Rules By Putting Sister’s Staffers on Own Payroll
Speaker Pelosi Vowed House Democrats would Run the “Most Ethical Congress in History”:
“This leadership team will create the most honest, most open, and most ethical Congress in history.” (Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Press Release, November 16, 2006)
Committee on Standards of Official Conduct Opens an Investigation Against Reps. Loretta and Linda Sanchez (D-CA), for Potential Violation of House Rules:
“The House ethics committee is reviewing whether the chamber’s rules were broken when Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.) put three of Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s (D-Calif.) aides on her own payroll in late 2006 because of a budget shortfall in her sister’s office…
“Stan Brand, an attorney for Loretta Sanchez, confirmed Monday that the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct was looking into the arrangement to temporarily shift staff between the two Sánchez offices…
“The review focuses in part on an agreement in which Linda Sánchez briefly put the three aides laid off from her sister’s office on her own payroll for a few weeks in late 2006 after discovering the embezzlement scandal had left Loretta Sanchez’s office short on funds.
“On Monday, Caroline Valdez pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to charges that she stole between $5,000 and $10,000 in early 2006…
“Under House rules, individual lawmakers are not allowed to use their Members’ Representational Allowance — the annual budget that provides for staff salaries, travel and office supplies — to pay aides to work in a House office other than their own.
“There is no indication that the committee has completed its work to date. The ethics panel does not disclose its work…
“Among the aides whom Linda Sánchez hired in late 2006 were her sister’s legislative director and legislative correspondent.
“For a period of just a few weeks, Linda Sánchez paid those individuals about $17,000 as ‘part-time employees,’ according to public House spending records.
“She also paid an office manager $10,000 during December 2006, while Loretta Sanchez recorded a $1,000 payment to the same individual for a period from late October to late December.
(“Ethics Panel Eyes Sánchez Sisters,” Roll Call, May 19, 2009)