AOC only paid for her Met Gala outfit and other possible ‘impermissible gifts’ after investigators asked about it, ethics agency finds
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez solely paid for her rented Met Gala outfit after the Home of Representatives’ ethics workplace requested about it.
The ethics workplace additionally discovered AOC had initially did not pay for her hairstylist and make-up artist.
Ocasio-Cortez blamed a marketing campaign staffer for not paying the invoices on time.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez solely paid for her rented Met Gala outfit after the Home of Representatives’ ethics workplace requested about it, in accordance with a nonpartisan ethics company.
The Workplace of Congressional Ethics discovered that Ocasio-Cortez’s employees did not initially pay for the rented gown, which featured the phrases “Tax the Wealthy” in purple letters.
AOC’s workplace additionally did not pay her make-up artist though her workplace was warned that the funds had been “EXTREMEMLY [sic] overdue,” the company alleged.
The nonpartisan ethics company discovered that Ocasio-Cortez’s workplace did not pay her $477 hair styling invoice till February 2022, two days after the ethics company reached out concerning the lack of funds.
In an interview with the investigators, Ocasio-Cortez blamed a marketing campaign staffer for failing to pay for her gown and different equipment, in accordance with ethics workplace findings.
“And I simply by no means, ever, ever would have allowed that to occur understanding what I’ve discovered, however that I wasn’t aware about the invoices, wasn’t aware about those that had been despatched,” she instructed investigators, “And it’s only a deeply regrettable state of affairs. I really feel l horrible for particularly the small companies that had been impacted.”
Including to that, she admitted to investigators she believed “there was a ball that was dropped.”
The OCE appeared to agree, and stated it discovered “that there’s substantial cause to imagine that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez accepted impermissible presents related together with her attendance on the Met Gala in 2021.”
In a press release, Ocasio-Cortez’s lawyer stated the star Democratic congresswoman “finds these [payment] delays unacceptable, and she or he has taken a number of steps to make sure nothing of this nature will ever occur once more.”
“Nonetheless, whereas regrettable, this matter definitively doesn’t rise to the extent of a violation of Home Guidelines or of federal regulation. Even after OCE’s exhaustive overview of the Congresswoman’s private communications, there isn’t any proof that she ever meant to keep away from these bills,” the assertion continued.
The Home Ethics Committee first opened a probe into Ocasio-Cortez’s attendance on the 2021 Met Gala in 2022, however her spokesperson, Lauren Hitt, was mum as to what the investigation was about.
“The Congresswoman has at all times taken ethics extremely significantly, refusing any donations from lobbyists, firms, or different particular pursuits,” Hitt stated in 2022.
Correction March 2, 2023: An earlier model of this story misstated which Met Gala invoice was flagged as overdue. The discover cited within the ethics workplace criticism referred to Ocasio-Cortez’s make-up invoice, not her rented gown invoice.
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