264 Congressional misconduct claims cost taxpayers $17 million
Congressional misconduct cost taxpayers $17 million in hush money for 264 incidents or $64,394 per claim. This year, eight payouts totaling $17 million were paid or $934,000 per claim.
These numbers were reported Thursday by Susan Tsui Grundmann, Executive Director, of Congress' Office of Compliance. The Director only revealed the number of incidents and payouts by years since 1997.
Grundmann said she was required to reveal "nothing" to the public about Congressional misconduct claims. The Director failed to detail why her agency paid out the money and who filed claims against what Congressman.
Instead of calling it "hush" money, the Director reported it as "awards and settlements." Grundmann's two-page report is available here:
Last year, 15 claims were settled for $588,000 or $39,200 per claim. In 2007, 25 claims for $4 million were paid or $160,000 per claim.
According to Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, Grundmann's Office of Compliance has an "unlimited amount of money to spend on coverups." Funds are used to settle sexual harassment, equal pay, and "anything else", said Fitton like "workplace violations." The only item that "is public is the amount of money Congress takes to settle these claims."
There is "no legal process to get this information", said Fitton. "It is a secretive process." His organization, Judicial Watch, files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits to investigate alleged misconduct by government officials.
Congress has no requirement to disclose anything their members do. They are exempt from Obamacare, insider trading, and freedom of information act disclosure requirements.
To date, details have been released only one of these Congressional misconduct claims. It involved John Conyers, Congressman from Detroit, Michigan. The story was broke last night here:
According to Michael Cernovich, of Cernovich Media, Congress' switchboard has been flooded with calls. People are asking that the other 263 misconduct cases be revealed. The phone number is 202-224-3121.