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Congressman Luis Gutiérrez appears to be ramping up for a house ethics investigation after spending a whopping $30,000 toward legal defense since last summer, according to a report from USA Today. But, thanks to a convenient little rule prohibiting ethics reports from being released before an election, neither the House Ethics Committee nor Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) have announced any investigation into the congressman.

USA Today reports an OCE report from January indicates at least one investigation was being held until after this weeks Illinois Primary Election.

The problem stems from Gutiérrez payments for over $500,000 in taxpayer funds to a lobbyist, Doug Scoffield, “to work side by side with his congressional staff…after stepping down as Gutiérrez’s chief of staff in 2002.”

From USA Today:

At the time, Gutiérrez spokesman Douglas Rivlin told USA TODAY that Scofield’s contract had been reviewed multiple times over the years by the House committee that oversees congressional expenditures. They “have never had a problem with this,” he said. Overall, “we are getting value for the money that we are spending.”

Nevertheless, a week later, Gutiérrez severed ties with Scofield. Rivlin said at the time that while neither the congressman nor Scofield had done anything wrong, “Congressman Gutiérrez is committed to leaving no question at all about whether he is following both the letter and intent of all House rules, and believes not continuing this contract is the best way to move forward without any concerns or doubts of any kind,” Rivlin said.

In August, Gutiérrez paid $7,500 from his campaign account to attorney Andrew Herman, who worked for the Brand Law Group, a Washington firm that specializes in “protecting and defending the rights of witnesses involved in government investigations.” According to Federal Election Commission records, over the next several months, Gutiérrez paid over $18,000 more to Herman, then in February paid an additional $3,100 to a law firm called Miller Chevalier — where Herman had moved his practice in the fall. In the 2011-2012 election cycle, Gutiérrez reports to the FEC showed no legal fees at all.

H/T: The Prairie State Report

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