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Ethics Committee furthers Mooney review


CHARLESTON — The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics is furthering its review of alleged ethics violations by Rep. Alex Mooney, R-W.Va., after receiving new allegations, including a family trip to Aruba covered by a company tied to the congressman.

The committee extended the review after receiving a referral from the Office of Congressional Ethics in December 2021.

According to the Office of Congressional Ethics, Mooney’s ties with HSP Direct LLC have raised ethical questions; The company allegedly paid for a family vacation to the Ritz-Carlton in Aruba. Mooney, his family and his campaign and congressional staff also are accused of using a Washington, D.C., home associated with HSP Direct for free, in which the residence was used for “lodging, workspace, and to host events.”

The office also alleges Mooney “routinely diverted official resources and staff time away from his constituents and official duties in favor of his and his family’s personal needs and sometimes for campaign activities.”

Staff were rarely compensated for their time, allegedly.

Two former staffers also told the Office of Congressional Ethics that Mooney “tampered with or withheld documents.” As the office attempted to investigate the claims, Mooney refused to cooperate in the inquiry.

“However, evidence and testimony indicate that Rep. Mooney may have offered false testimony and altered his calendar in order to conceal wrongdoing,” the office states.

The release of the report comes nearly two weeks after Mooney defeated Rep. David McKinley in the Republican primary for West Virginia’s new 2nd Congressional District, 54.2% to 35.6%.