Democratic Illinois Rep. Marie Newman allegedly offered a potential 2020 primary opponent a job in her office in exchange for the opponent’s decision not to run, the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) found Monday.
Newman, who defeated fellow Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski in a heated primary, offered Iymen Chehade a job within her congressional office in exchange for an understanding that he would not enter the race, a lawsuit filed by Chehade in May 2021 alleged. Such an agreement would violate rules regulating the hiring of congressional staffers and contractors, and would therefore be null and void.
Office of Congressional Ethics votes 6-0 to find reason to believe @RepMarieNewman “may have promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support.”
Now goes to the House Ethics Committee.https://t.co/NsDY03KQH0
— bryan metzger (@metzgov) January 24, 2022
Chehade, a Columbia College professor, was hired to advise Newman on issues related to the Israel-Palestine conflict. However, in addition to his foreign policy understanding, “Newman likely was motivated to enter the agreement to avoid competing against Mr. Chehade in the next Democratic primary,” according to the OCE final report. During discussions about Chehade’s hiring, the professor asked Newman to agree to a term-limits pledge and commit to endorsing him once she stepped down.
Although Newman later claimed to the ethics office to be “outraged and incensed” by the request, she responded to Chehade’s email that she thought “most of [his proposal] looks good.”
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