The Office of Congressional Ethics is further investigating suspected improper exchanges between Congressman Mike Honda’s campaign (D-CA) and his official house staff after several months of investigations, reports the San Jose Inside.
While it remains unclear whether the investigation is leading to a broader discipline of Honda himself due to the discreet nature of the process, Honda’s office said Tuesday that it is fully cooperating with the ongoing review.
Many of the issues arose from various emails sent between Honda and his staff, as well as among staff members.
Last September, San Jose Inside published an email exchange between Honda’s chief of staff, Jennifer Van der Heide, and other House employees that revealed Honda’s re-election campaign worked with congressional staff on an event targeting influential South Asian donors for campaign contributions.
In addition, Ruchit Agrawal, a former staffer, said Honda had him and other House staffers to carry out personal errands for the congressman on taxpayer time, which is a House rule violation.
Rod Sinks and Jose Esteves, respective mayors of Cupertino and Milpitas, filed a formal complaint with the OCE in September and the board decided to take up the issue.
The OCE has yet to make a decision on the investigation and has not made any public statements on the matter. If the board deems that there has been no transgressions after the second-phase of investigations, no public documents may be released. On the other hand, if the review finds wrongdoings, the board will issue a report or transfer the findings to the House Ethics Committee to continue the investigation.
Honda narrowly defeated Ro Khanna for the seventh consecutive year in the U.S. House of Representatives, but he will need to garner the trust and votes to win again in the upcoming 2016 elections.
You can learn more about how the review will be carried out in the coming weeks in the San Jose Inside.