House panel looking into ethics probe involving Ariz. congressman

The House Ethics Committee made public Thursday that Rep. David Schweikert, R-Arizona, and his chief of staff have been under investigation by the nonpartisan Office of Congressional Ethics.

The Ethics Committee, which doesn’t publicly disclose the allegations or reasons behind an investigation, announced it was reviewing the matter. The OCE refers cases to the House Ethics Committee only when there is substantial evidence of ethics violations.

The Washington Examiner reported in November that Schweikert’s chief of staff, Oliver Schwab, was spending lavishly on work trips and supplementing his income with a consulting firm that received $164,887 from Schweikert’s various campaign committees. Per federal law, senior congressional staffers cannot make more than $26,955 in outside income.

The Examiner reported in April that Schwab has repaid Schweikert’s campaign $50,372 this year.

The committee said it would announce its course of action related to the congressman on or before November 14. It did not provide a date for Schwab.

In press releases, the committee said the extension or review of an investigation does not directly indicate that any violation has occurred.

Schweikert’s office did not respond to a request for comment.