Ethics complaint filed against Rep. Hank Johnson
Democratic Congressman Hank Johnson is no stranger to public controversy. This time he's coming under fire for potentially violating ethics rules by promoting Jon Ossoff, one of his former staffers, on his official government website.
The advocacy group Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) says that it will file a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Monday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported over the weekend.
The Atlanta-area Democrat had published a web entry on his taxpayer-funded site titled, "Who is Jon Ossoff?" It sought to boost Ossoff's candidacy and answer questions about his background as a staffer in Rep. Johnson's office. However, House ethics rules warn lawmakers against using their official online presence for campaign purposes.
"Representative Johnson has simply disregarded the rule and is blatantly using his official website for partisan purposes and campaign related activity," FACT's Matthew Whitaker wrote to congressional investigators. "Not only is it troubling that Johnson has breached a basic rule that ensures the public’s confidence that our House Members are working for the citizens and not for their own personal political gain, but he has misused taxpayer funded resources."
Ossoff worked for the Lithonia Democrat on and off from 2007 to 2012, first in a part-time capacity and eventually in a full-time role.
Reportedly, neither Rep. Johnson nor Ossoff's offices would respond to the story. Additionally, the AJC said that Rep. Johnson's office removed the link once he was contacted about the page, though the screenshot is still circulating. You can check it out below.