On September 5, 2018, the Office of Congressional Ethics transmitted a referral to the Committee on Ethics of the United States House of Representatives regarding Rep. Thomas Garrett.
Nature of the Review
Representative Garrett may have used his congressional staff to perform unofficial work and personal errands. If Representative Garrett used congressional staff to perform unofficial work and personal errands, then he may have violated House rules and standards of conduct.
The Board recommended that the Committee on Ethics further review the above allegation because there is a substantial reason to believe that Representative Garrett used congressional staff to perform unofficial work and personal errands.
On December 4, 2018, the Committee on Ethics released a statement indicating it would continue to gather information necessary to complete its review. The Committee published the OCE report and findings and announced the allegations would be further reviewed pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a).
On January 2, 2019, the Committee on Ethics released a report concluding that Representative Garrett's repeated personal demands of staff, making no attempt to curb the personal demands Mrs. Garrett made of his staff, and instead permitting her to berate staff who did not acquiesce to their demands violated House Rules. The Committee concludes Representative Garrett's failure to take responsibility for the office environment he cultivated and misuse of staff time to serve his personal whims violated the public trust. Because Representative Garrett is retiring, the Committee will lose jurisdiction over him on January 3, 2019.
Additionally, the Committee cautions the entire House community that government resources should be used judiciously and with primary regard toward serving the needs of constituents Members are elected to serve, not the personal needs of Members or their spouses.