AOC paid for her Met Gala outfit and other possible “improper gifts” only after investigators asked about them, the ethics board notes
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez only paid for her rented Met Gala outfit after the House Ethics Office asked for it.
The ethics office also found that AOC initially failed to pay their hairstylist and makeup artist.
Ocasio-Cortez accused a campaign worker of not paying the bills on time.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez paid for her rented Met Gala outfit only after the House Ethics Office asked for it, according to a nonpartisan ethics agency.
The Office of Congressional Ethics found that Ocasio-Cortez employees initially did not pay for the rented dress, which had the words “Tax the Rich” written in red letters on it.
AOC’s office also failed to pay her makeup artist, despite warning her office that the payments were “EXTREME.” [sic] overdue,” the agency claimed.
The bipartisan ethics board found that Ocasio-Cortez’s office didn’t pay her $477 hairstyling bill until February 2022, two days after the ethics board came forward for missing payments.
In an interview with investigators, Ocasio-Cortez accused a campaign worker of not paying for her dress and other accessories, according to the Ethics Bureau.
“And I would have never, never, never allowed that to happen if I had known what I was learning, but that I wasn’t privy to the bills, wasn’t privy to the ones that were sent,” she told investigators. And it’s just a deeply regrettable situation. I feel terrible for the small businesses in particular that have been affected.”
Additionally, she admitted to investigators that she believed “there was a ball that was dropped.”
The OCE appeared to agree, saying it determined “that there is reasonable grounds to believe that Rep. Ocasio-Cortez accepted improper gifts in connection with her attendance at the 2021 Met Gala.”
In a statement, Ocasio-Cortez’s attorney said the Democratic congresswoman “found these [payment] Delays are unacceptable and she has taken several steps to ensure this never happens again.”
“While this matter is regrettable, it definitely does not rise to the level of a violation of house rules or federal law. Even after the OCE’s extensive review of the members of Congress’ personal communications, there is no evidence that she ever intended to avoid such spending. ‘ the statement continued.
House ethics committee first open a probe into Ocasio-Cortez’s attendance at the 2021 Met Gala in 2022, but her spokesperson, Lauren Hitt, was mum about what the investigation was about.
“The congresswoman has always taken ethics incredibly seriously and has rejected any donations from lobbyists, corporations or any other interest group,” Hitt said in 2022.
Correction March 2, 2023: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated which Met Gala bill was marked as overdue. The notice cited in the Ethics Bureau’s complaint referred to Ocasio-Cortez’s makeup bill, not the bill for her rented dress.
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https://news.yahoo.com/aoc-only-paid-her-met-194832514.html AOC paid for her Met Gala outfit and other possible “improper gifts” only after investigators asked about them, the ethics board notes