(NewsGlobal.com)- According to a report by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE), Democratic New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the departing chairwoman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, “may have sought or accepted prohibited gifts” from the Met Gala.
Maloney, a regular Met Gala attendee, allegedly broke House rules by asking for tickets in 2016. Since her election to Congress in 1993, the congresswoman has served as the district’s representative, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the venue for the gala. Due to redistricting, she was compelled to compete in a member-versus-member primary, which she lost to Jerry Nadler. She will not be returning to Washington in 2023.
The annual Met Gala is attended by a large number of New York’s congressional delegation members. Notably, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sported a white outfit with red letters reading “Tax the Rich” across the back. Maloney stated that she could not “recall” any Galas “from 2015 onward,” to which she was not invited.
However, emails uncovered by OCE and included in the watchdog’s investigation reveal that Maloney specifically asked for tickets to the Met Gala in 2016. Maloney’s name was struck out of a letter listing guests for the 2016 celebration. According to the Met’s previous Director of Government Affairs, her invitation was canceled because of the limited number of seats.
According to an email the Met Gala worker sent to executives, an “unhappy to say the least” Maloney contacted and complained about not being invited. In her OCE interview, Maloney subsequently denied making the call.
The whistleblower stated that she whined about how much she does for the Met, how she is always there when you call, and proactive she on the organization’s concerns in DC. In short, she wormed her way into a free ticket after being passed over.
House Rule XXV states that members of Congress may only accept “offers of free attendance” when they are “unsolicited,” so requesting an invitation would be against the rule.
A federal law that forbids members from “soliciting or accepting anything of value from a person seeking official action from, doing business with, or (in the case of executive branch officers and employees) conducting activities regulated by the individual’s employing entity” would also be broken by the alleged actions.