Dec. 20 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., was officially sanctioned by the House Ethics Committee for illegally misusing campaign funds.
The 66-page report of a five-year investigation concluded that Rodgers' staffers used official resources, including time, office space and travel funds for political purposes. It acknowledged that she often was not aware of the "full extent of the misconduct," but billed her $7,576 in reimbursement.
"The extensive record compiled by the Committee in this matter demonstrates that the offices of Rep. Rodgers frequently exhibited an indifference to the laws, rules and regulations relating to the use of official and unofficial resources," the committee panel, equally divided between Republicans and Democrats, concluded in the report released on Thursday.
This indifference led to myriad instances of resources being used inappropriately. While in some of those instances, the misuse appeared to be a minor deviation from expected conduct, at other times the impropriety was more severe."
The report cited seven members of Rodgers' staff who were found to dedicate official time to political work. The fine was calculated according to the hours they misused.
Rodgers has represented Washington's 5th District, which includes the city of Spokane, since 2005, and is her party's ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.