House Ethics panel expands investigation into Florida Democrat

The House Ethics Committee moved to expand its investigation into Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.) on Tuesday, over claims that she misused office funds and violated campaign finance laws.

The committee first opened a probe into Cherfilus-McCormick in December to determine whether the congresswoman “may have violated campaign finance laws and regulations in connection with her 2022 special election and/or 2022 re-election campaigns; failed to properly disclose required information on statements required to be filed with the House; and/or accepted voluntary services for official work from an individual not employed in her congressional office.”

Tuesday’s announcement of an expanded investigation will focus on additional claims that she may have broken the code of conduct. 

Potential violations include allegations that she “engaged in improper conduct in connection with community project funding requests; misused official funds for campaign purposes; and/or violated campaign finance laws and regulations in connection with her 2024 re-election campaign,” the committee said in a release.

The committee did not elaborate further on the claims, as it typically does not disclose details about the substance of allegations against members until it completes investigations.

Cherfilus-McCormick’s office also did not elaborate on the allegations in a statement to The Hill.

“Expanding the scope of the inquiry by itself does not indicate that any violation has occurred or reflect any judgement or decision by the Committee,” a spokesperson told The Hill. “The Congresswoman continues to take this matter very seriously and intends to cooperate with the House Ethics Committee and its investigative subcommittee to address the allegations that have been raised.”

Cherfilus-McCormick joined the House in 2022 after winning a special election for the southern Florida district to replace the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.). She was elected to a full term later that year.

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