OCE Referral Regarding Rep. Shelley Berkley
On February 9, 2012, the Office of Congressional Ethics transmitted a referral to the Committee on Ethics of the United States House of Representatives regarding Rep. Shelley Berkley.
Nature of Review
Representative Shelley Berkley may have violated House rules and precedent regarding conflicts of interest by advocating for the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada (“UMC”) kidney transplant program, in an effort to prevent the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) from terminating Medicare approval of that program for failing to meet CMS standards regarding patient survival. At the time Representative Berkley advocated for the UMC program, she had a financial interest in that program through her husband, a partner in Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada, which held the contract to provide nephrology services to UMC.
If Representative Berkley advocated to CMS in order to keep the UMC kidney transplant program open while she had a financial interest in that program through her husband, she may violated House Rule 23 and House precedent regarding conflicts of interest.
The Board of the OCE recommended the Committee further review the above allegations as there is a substantial reason to believe that Rep. Berkley advocated to CMS in order to keep the UMC kidney transplant program open while she had a financial interest in that program through her husband, in violation of House Rule 23 and House precedent regarding conflict of interest.
On June 29, 2012, the Committee on Ethics established an investigative subcommittee regarding this matter.
On December 20, 2012, the Committee on Ethics adopted a report from the investigative subcommittee finding that Rep. Berkley had violated House Rules and other laws, rules, and standards of conduct with respect to some, but not all, of the allegations investigated related to her activities on behalf of the kidney transplant center at UMC.