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Tom Suozzi faces possible ethics probe over his stock investment reports

The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that it has extended an investigation into the finances of Long Island Rep. Tom Suozzi, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

A complaint was filed with the U.S. Congressional Ethics Office last August alleging that Suozzi had for years failed to report stock trades in a timely manner, as required by stock law and stock market rules. home.

“The Ethics Committee chair and ranking member have jointly decided to expand the case regarding Rep. Thomas Suozzi, which was referred to the committee by the Congressional Ethics Office on February 28, 2022,” the report said. communicated.

“The Panel notes that the mere fact of a referral or extension, and the mandatory disclosure of such extension and the name of the subject matter of the case, does not in itself indicate that a violation is produced, nor do they reflect any judgment on the part of the Committee.

The statement concludes: “The Committee will announce its course of action in this matter no later than Friday, July 29, 2022.”

The Democratic primary takes place on June 28.

Governor Kathy Hochul is getting a lot of heat for her former Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin.
AP/Richard Drew

News of the investigation comes as Suozzi hammered Governor Kathy Hochul, the Democratic primary frontrunner, for the corruption indictment of her Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin.

Suozzi also called for an investigation into whether Hochul misused state jets to promote his campaign to retain the executive seat.

The Campaign Legal Center, a group that advocates for strong campaign finance laws, filed the complaint with the Congressional Ethics Office.

“Campaign Legal Center (“CLC”) respectfully requests that the Office of Congressional Ethics (“OCE”) investigate Rep. Thomas Suozzi for a possible violation of the STOCK Act and House Rules. From 2017 to 2020 , Representative Suozzi conducted approximately 300 stock trades with a total value ranging from approximately $3.2 million to $11 million,” the complaint states.

“For four years, the Suozzi representative frequently traded shares, but did not file any [period transaction reports] PTR as needed.

The complaint noted that Suozzi included the transactions in its annual financial statements, but not in periodic reports.

Last month, Business Insider reported that Suozzi misreported 31 stock trades worth $885,000.

The Post last December reported that Suozzi was among a number of lawmakers who flouted the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012.

The STOCK Act, which requires members of Congress to disclose all stock trades within 45 days, is designed as a check against members who engage in insider trading or buy and sell stock on the information base that is not publicly available.

United States Capitol
The committee will announce its course of action in this matter no later than Friday, July 29, 2022.
Getty Images/nna Moneymaker

“The harm is that this trend could quickly frustrate one of the purposes of the STOCK Act, which is real-time disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. If members are not held accountable for failing to disclose transactions stock exchanges, many may simply wait for their annual financial disclosures to reveal stock trades and pay a nominal late fee, thereby circumventing stock law,” the CLC said in the complaint.

“As members of Congress craft laws that directly impact the lives of all Americans, the public must be able to trust that representatives are acting in the public interest, not their own financial self-interest.”

Suozzi’s congressional office sought to downplay the significance of the investigation.

“The Congressman’s investments are managed by independent advisors with complete discretion on all transactions. The congressman does not control or direct these transactions,” a spokesperson for Suozzi said.

“The congressman takes his disclosure obligations seriously. Each annual financial disclosure has been filed and all periodic transaction reports will be filed going forward. The congressman is reportedly backing legislation banning lawmakers from trading stocks.

New York Post

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