Rep. Rob Andrews, a New Jersey Democrat who tapped into campaign funds to take his family to Scotland for a wedding, got the okay for the trip from his compliance officer.
It turns out the compliance officer was his wife. Andrews now finds himself under an ethics review by the House of Representatives for possible violations of campaign finance laws.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
“Details of Camille Andrews’ role emerged in a 244-page report from the Office of Congressional Ethics, a nonpartisan board that reviews ethics complaints and sends potential violations to the House ethics committee.”
The congressman claims he to took the to $30,000 trip to Edinburgh with his wife and two daughters because “the wedding was for a one-time political operative Rob Andrews said he hoped to recruit to help in campaigns, so he has argued that the expenses were tied to his political work,” the Inquirer reports. His wife evidently determined that the trip “was an appropriate expenditure.”
Rep. Andrews wife is a dean at Rutgers-Camden School of Law where she apparently also teaches ethics. The Inquirer quotes Andrews as telling the board that “Camille serves as our compliance officer … She is one of the three best lawyers I know – maybe five.”
Andrews has subsequently repaid the amount spent on the Scotland trip to the campaign account and maintains that no taxpayer money was involved.
Federal law prohibits campaign donations from being spent on purely personal, non-political expenses.
Rob Andrews has been a Member of Congress representing New Jersey’s 1st Congressional district since 1990.