The House Ethics Committee is extending a probe into whether the non-voting delegate representing Guam "received profit" from the Japanese government, used staff and resources for for unauthorized purposes, and received free gifts and lodging in violation of House rules.
The ten-member nonpartisan House committee released a statement Monday announcing they are continuing the investigation into Rep. Madeleine Mary Zeien Bordallo, a Democrat.
The panel statement included a report authored by the outside independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which voted 6-0 to recommend the House Ethics panel take up the matter.
The arguments made by the OCE were enough to convince the House panel, which has the sole power to mete out punishment against House lawmakers, to investigate Bordallo, beginning in July.
According to the OCE, there is evidence Bordallo received free penthouse hotel rooms, food and other amenities at the Outrigger Guam Beach Resort "for multiple weeks per year," while serving in Congress.
The OCE found that Bordallo, who has served in Congress since 2003, may have also used her official House office fund to pay for rooms and food at the resort and may have used Congressional office staff to help maintain her Guam property and to work at "a Guam-based beauty pageant."
All of those actions violate the rules of the House, which has rules for lawmakers when it comes to accepting gifts and spending office funds and resources.
The House Ethics Committee is also investigating the OCE determinaton that Bordallo may have violated the "emoluments" clause, which prohibits profiting form a foreign government.
The violation may have occurred when Bordallo received rental profit from the Japanese Consulate in Hagatna, Guam, according to the OCE.
According to the report, Bordallo has refused to meet with the OCE.
She will have a much harder time refusing to meet with the House Ethics Committee. The panel has the ultimate say over her punishment, which can range from reprimands and fines to a censure to (very rarely) expulsion.