| Washington Examiner
An ethics watchdog group has filed a complaint with a House ethics panel against Rep. Donna Shalala over her sale of at least six stocks between November 2018 and November 2019 without reporting the transactions.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust filed the complaint against the Florida Democrat on Thursday with the Office of Congressional Ethics. OCE is an investigative arm of the House Ethics Committee composed of people who are not members of Congress. If it finds sufficient cause to warrant further investigation, it can send the complaint to the ethics committee, a panel evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
The complaint accuses Shalala, 79, a first-term member of Congress, of violating federal law and House ethics rules.
In a recent interview, Shalala claimed she made an error and simply missed the filing deadlines. "Look, I knew what the law was. I missed the deadlines. And I have to take responsibility — personal responsibility for doing that," she told a local Miami CBS affiliate.
However, the watchdog group claims that Shalala’s failure to disclose her stock trades had little to do with missing a filing deadline because some of the sales occurred more than a year ago. The group says Shalala deliberately attempted to avoid the legal reporting mandates.
Federal law and House ethics rules require that members report financial information to the public, including financial transactions over $1,000.
“The Ethics in Government Act does not allow for Members to not file the required reports without consequence. The disclosure requirements are an integral part of the law to create an ethical and transparent government. It is not a technical requirement for Members-timely and accurate filing is the only method for citizens to determine whether Members have conflicts of interest or are wrongly profiting from their position,” Kendra Arnold, executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, said in her complaint to the OCE.
Shalala, who has the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is a member of the CARES Congressional Oversight Commission, a panel that one liberal organization has called for Shalala to step down from in the midst of the news of the stock sales. READ MORE