Feb 4, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Ethics complaint filed against Sen. Kyrsten Sinema over staff tasks

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema at the U.S. Capitol on July 28, 2022, in Washington, D.C. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Thirteen advocacy groups filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee this week, requesting an investigation into Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) and allegations about tasks she requires of her staff.

Driving the news: In a letter first reported by The Hill, Sinema is accused of requiring her Senate staff to "conduct a wide variety of activities unrelated to their job responsibilities," including personal errands, household tasks at her private residence and advancing their own money for her personal purchases.

  • The allegations are based on a 37-page memo reported by The Daily Beast in December, which allegedly served as a scheduling guide from Sinema to her staff.

Zoom in: The letter alleges that Sinema required her staff to schedule her physical therapy and massage sessions, and to manage her dietary schedule.

  • The letter states that the "most troubling" aspect of the memo is that staff members were allegedly tasked with scheduling and facilitating political fundraisers and meetings with campaign donors.
  • Congressional staff cannot participate in campaign activities while on congressional property or while being paid by their employer, according to rules established by the Senate Ethics Committee.
  • The allegations "paint a picture of a Senator who is not only unresponsive to her constituents, but also disrespectful and even abusive to her employees and wholly unconcerned about her obligations under the law," the letter states.
  • The 13 activist groups that sent the letter, many based in Arizona, urged the committee to investigate the "highly troubling" allegations.

Sinema's office and the Senate Ethics Committee did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

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