Ocasio Cortez Faces New Ethics Complaint Over Boyfriend’s Email

March 7, 2019 Updated: March 7, 2019

Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was hit with an ethics complaint on March 7 that accuses her of providing her boyfriend an official House email address by listing him as a staff member.

The complaint, filed to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) by conservative non-profit Coolidge Reagan Foundation, comes after a different complaint alleging that two political action committees (PACs) backing the congresswoman’s campaign fed nearly $900,000 to a limited liability company (LLC) that functioned as a de facto slush fund for campaign spending, skirting campaign-transparency rules.

The new filing, first reported by Fox News, alleges that Ocasio-Cortez used her congressional privileges in an unethical manner in order for her to set up a House email address for her boyfriend Riley Roberts. There have now been two complaints questioning the operations of the congresswoman’s office and campaign.

“Ocasio-Cortez improperly converted U.S. House resources to her non-official, personal use by obtaining an official ‘@mail.house.gov’ e-mail address for her boyfriend, despite the fact he was not employed by her congressional office,” the complaint states.

“Moreover, it appears she obtained the e-mail address for him by falsely designating him a ‘staff’ member.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill on Feb. 27, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

The political non-profits attorneys claim Ocasio-Cortez violated rules regarding the use of House services and equipment. They said the rules do not allow outside individuals to have an official government email account.

The U.S. House Code of Official Conduct states, “A Member … may not authorize or otherwise allow an individual … not under the direction and control of the House to use the words … “House of Representatives” … or any combination of words thereof, on any letterhead or envelope.”

The complaint states that according to the U.S. Criminal Code, it is a “federal crime” if any person “in any matter within the jurisdiction of the … legislative .. branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully… [to] make any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Officials for her office also did not immediately respond to requests for comment by Fox News regarding her boyfriend’s email.

“To my surprise, no one else had acted on this information,” foundation attorney Dan Backer told Fox News, “and while media coverage of misconduct is good, [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] has to be held accountable.”

“On this matter, only OCE [Office of Congressional Ethics] has the investigative authority to do so,” he continued.

Last month, the congresswoman said the account was given to her boyfriend so he could have calendar access.

“Actually this cal designation is a permission so he can have access to my Google Cal,” she wrote on Twitter on Feb. 15. “Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time. Next time, check your facts before you tweet nonsense.”

David O’Boyle, the spokesperson for the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, told Fox News last month: “From time to time, at the request of members, spouses, and partners are provided House email accounts for the purposes of viewing the member’s calendar.”

However Jason Chaffetz, former GOP chairman of the House Oversight Committee, said Ocasio-Cortez’s claims still don’t make sense.

“It’s totally naïve and inappropriate—you wouldn’t allow it in most companies, let alone the House of Representatives. There should be real consequences,” Chaffetz told Fox News.

Follow Bowen on Twitter: @BowenXiao3
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