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Ethics complaint filed against Rep. Miller-Meeks alleges failure to disclose personal financial information

The complaint filed Monday to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) requests an investigation into the matter.

DES MOINES, Iowa — An ethics complaint filed by the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) alleges Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (2nd Congressional District) failed to disclose information on her personal finances as required by U.S. law.

The complaint filed Monday to the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) requests an investigation into the matter.

The first part of the complaint says Miller-Meeks failed to properly disclose all of her earned income in three different reports: 2019 Candidate Report, 2020 Candidate Report and 2020 Annual Report.

The complaint alleges Miller-Meeks failed to disclose nearly $35,000 income earned in 2020 from her state pension and Great River Health Systems on her 2020 Annual Report. However, the complaint says she did disclose the information on her 2020 Candidate Report. 

Miller-Meeks also failed to disclose her state senator salary on each of her reports, according to the complaint. 

She served as a state senator from 2019 to 2021. The complaint also says she only disclosed her 2021 congressional salary on her 2020 Annual Report. 

"However, this income was reported erroneously because Rep. Miller-Meeks did not earn a congressional salary during the 2020 calendar year," the complaint says. 

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The complaint also says Miller-Meeks incorrectly disclosed a "deferred compensation payout" in a section of her 2020 Annual Report. 

"It is unclear why this was reported on Schedule J, unless she has an ownership interest in her former employer Great River Health Systems. The law and guidance are clear that only fees generated by individuals with an ownership interest in their employer should be included on Schedule J," the complaint says. 

The complaint says Miller-Meeks should have disclosed that information "immediately" if she has an ownership interest in Great River Health Systems.

Miller-Meeks also failed to disclose assets on part of her 2020 Annual Report that she had disclosed as owning earlier in 2020, according to the complaint. None of the assets listed on her 2020 Candidate Report are on the 2020 Annual Report. 

Lastly, the complaint accuses Miller-Meeks of improperly disclosing "at least two of the three assets listed on Schedule A of her "2019 and 2020 Candidate Reports by failing to identify the actual asset – or assets – held in her retirement accounts."

The complaint says assets weren't identified in this area correctly or specifically. 

A spokesperson for Miller-Meeks sent Local 5 the following statement: 

"It’s unfortunate that Chairman Wilburn is focused on partisan attacks when he should be focused on solving the problems created by his parties, such as soaring inflation that is hurting working Americans and their families. 

"The Congresswoman's office is working with the House Ethics Committee and House Clerk's office on several substantive questions to resolve the discrepancies of her most recent personal financial report. 

"This will ensure that her upcoming amended report covers all the necessary bases. We anticipate that the amended report will be filed as soon as her staff receives the answers to those questions."

RELATED: Ethics complaint filed against Rep. Cindy Axne for failing to disclose stock activity

This complaint comes just a few weeks after a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization filed a complaint against Rep. Cindy Axne (IA-03) for failing to disclose "significant" stock trading activity in 2019 and 2020.

"Congresswoman Miller-Meeks is working with the Ethics Committee to amend her report," said Communications Director Kollin Crompton with the Republican Party of Iowa. "Meanwhile, Cindy Axne has yet to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock trades that she profited from while in Congress. Axne broke federal law and must be held accountable the same way any normal Iowan would."

Last Friday, Axne's office said she is working to address the  discrepancies in her reports: 

“Two weeks ago, Congresswoman Axne was made aware of clerical issues related to reporting transactions on her personal financial disclosure statements. 

As soon as she learned of these issues, she took steps to properly address them, including hiring an outside counsel to audit her reports and confirming with the third-party money manager who oversees the related retirement accounts that she did not personally direct or execute any of these trades. 

In the interest of full transparency on this matter, I am passing along notification that earlier today, Congresswoman Axne filed the appropriate periodic transaction report and amendments to her previously filed reports to rectify the situation. She has also taken steps to ensure these issues don’t happen again.”

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