New details released in House ethics review of Houston-area congressman

The U.S. House Ethics Committee is looking into whether U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls used campaign funds for personal use, according to documents it released Friday.

The report said Nehls, his staff and his campaign refused to cooperate with the office's initial inquiries, preventing the office from determining if he was essentially converting campaign donations into personal use.

In December, the OCE, an independent, nonpartisan entity charged with reviewing allegations of misconduct against members of Congress, forwarded the issue to the House Ethics Committee

which has subpoena power to force members of Congress to respond to inquiries. The Ethics Committee made the OCE report public on Friday as it continues to review the matter.

In a statement Friday, Nehls said he refused to cooperate with the Office of Congressional Ethics because it was created in 2008 by then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi said at the time that the aim was to better police members of Congress than the House Ethics Committee, which moves slowly and has long been accused of protecting its members against charges of wrongdoing.

“The Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) was created under Nancy Pelosi, which is why I refused to cooperate with the office,” Nehls said

The “fraud was reported to the proper authorities, and internal controls have been put in place to help prevent this type of fraud in the future,”

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