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House Ethics Committee delays consideration of complaint against Rep. Jim Renacci

November 27, 2018

House Ethics Committee delays consideration of complaint against Rep. Jim Renacci

WASHINGTON, D. C. - The House Ethics Committee announced Monday that it will delay its consideration of an ethics complaint filed against Rep. Jim Renacci, which would likely bar it from issuing any sanctions against the Wadsworth Republican who leaves office in January.

The committee’s statement said the House Office of Congressional Ethics – which initially reviews ethics allegations - referred the complaint to them in August and the top Republican and Democrat on the committee “jointly decided to extend the matter.” It also cautioned that the referral “does not itself indicate that any violation has occurred or reflect any judgment on behalf of the Committee.”

Spokesmen for the House Ethics Committee and the Office of Congressional Ethics declined to provide specifics about the complaint. The House Ethics Committee often drops investigations of members of Congress who have left the institution, saying it no longer has jurisdiction over them.

A statement from Renacci’s office said the complaint derived from a “baseless” gripe about Renacci’s social media posts by the Ohio Democratic Party, “which has falsely and repeatedly accused Jim Renacci of everything short of the Lincoln assassination.”

“Since that time our office has made clear that it would work closely with ethics officials to set the record straight on the Ohio Democratic Party’s latest attempt to deceive the public and desperately trash Jim Renacci’s record in public service,” said the statement from Renacci spokeswoman Kelsey Knight.

The Ohio Democratic Party’s complaint claimed that Renacci improperly used his official Twitter account to promote a gubernatorial campaign he launched before he decided to run for Senate. Renacci lost that race to incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown.

An Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman referred comment on the Ethics Committee announcement to Brown’s campaign. Brown’s campaign manager, Justin Barasky, said Renacci clearly used his congressional office for political purposes.

“It wouldn’t be surprising if the GOP-controlled committee threw the complaint away the same way the voters of Ohio are throwing away the congressman,” Barasky said.

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