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                                                House Calendar No. 135
115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      115-617
______________________________________________________________________

                                     


                      IN THE MATTER OF ALLEGATIONS
                      RELATING TO REPRESENTATIVE 
                           LUIS V. GUTIERREZ

                               ----------                              

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS












[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]










   March 22, 2018.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed


















                                                House Calendar No. 135
115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      115-617
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     










                      IN THE MATTER OF ALLEGATIONS

                      RELATING TO REPRESENTATIVE 
                           LUIS V. GUTIERREZ

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS













[GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]









   March 22, 2018.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed
                                   ______

                         U.S. GOVERNMENT PUBLISHING OFFICE 

29-435                         WASHINGTON : 2018 
























                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

SUSAN W. BROOKS, Indiana             THEODORE E. DEUTCH, Florida
  Chairwoman                           Ranking Member
KENNY MARCHANT, Texas                YVETTE D. CLARKE, New York
LEONARD LANCE, New Jersey            JARED POLIS, Colorado
MIMI WALTERS, California             ANTHONY BROWN, Maryland
JOHN RATCLIFFE, Texas                STEVE COHEN, Tennessee

                              Report Staff

              Thomas A. Rust, Chief Counsel/Staff Director
           Brittney L. Pescatore, Director of Investigations
               Megan H. Savage, Counsel to the Chairwoman
            Daniel J. Taylor, Counsel to the Ranking Member
                        David W. Arrojo, Counsel
                Kathryn Lefeber Donahue, Senior Counsel
                     Molly N. McCarty, Investigator
                  Andrew Kleiman, Investigative Clerk
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                  
                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                          House of Representatives,
                                       Committee on Ethics,
                                    Washington, DC, March 22, 2018.
Hon. Karen L. Haas,
Clerk, House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Ms. Haas: Pursuant to clauses 3(a)(2) and 3(b) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, we herewith 
transmit the attached report, ``In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Representative Luis V. Gutierrez.''
            Sincerely,
                                   Susan W. Brooks,
                                           Chairwoman.
                                   Theodore E. Deutch,
                                           Ranking Member.
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                                           
                            C O N T E N T S

                              ----------                              
                                                                   Page
  I. INTRODUCTION.....................................................1
 II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND............................................2
III. HOUSE RULES, LAWS, REGULATIONS, AND OTHER STANDARDS OF CONDUCT...3
 IV. BACKGROUND.......................................................4
             A. REPRESENTATIVE GUTIERREZ'S CONTRACT WITH SCOFIELD 
                COMMUNICATIONS...................................     5
            B. REQUEST FOR CHA REVIEW OF THE CONTRACT............     6
            C. PAYMENTS TO SCOFIELD COMMUNICATIONS...............     7
            D. SERVICES PERFORMED UNDER THE SCOFIELD CONTRACT....     9
            E. TERMINATION OF THE CONTRACT.......................    13
            F. POTENTIAL LOBBYING ACTIVITIES BY SCOFIELD 
                COMMUNICATIONS...................................    16
                  1. Greater Chicago Food Depository.............    16
                  2. Chicago Botanical Gardens...................    17
                  3. National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and 
                    Culture......................................    17
  V. FINDINGS........................................................19
            A. UNAUTHORIZED USE OF THE MEMBERS' REPRESENTATIONAL 
                ALLOWANCE........................................    19
            B. HOUSE RULE XXIII, CLAUSES 1 AND 2.................    29
            C. CODE OF ETHICS, SECTION 5.........................    31
 VI. CONCLUSION......................................................32
VII. STATEMENT UNDER HOUSE RULE XIII, CLAUSE 3(C)....................32
APPENDIX 1: REPORT AND FINDINGS OF THE OFFICE OF CONGRESSIONAL 
  ETHICS (REVIEW NO. 13-7135)....................................    33
APPENDIX 2: REPRESENTATIVE GUTIERREZ'S SUBMISSIONS...............   211
APPENDIX 3: EXHIBITS TO COMMITTEE REPORT.........................   218















                                                House Calendar No. 135
115th Congress    }                                     {       Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                     {      115-617

======================================================================



 
    IN THE MATTER OF ALLEGATIONS RELATING TO REPRESENTATIVE LUIS V. 
                               GUTIERREZ

                                _______
                                

   March 22, 2018.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 
                                printed

                                _______
                                

        Mrs. Brooks  of Indiana, from the Committee on Ethics, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

    In accordance with House Rule XI, clauses 3(a)(2) and 3(b), 
the Committee on Ethics (Committee) hereby submits the 
following Report to the House of Representatives:

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    On December 4, 2013, the Office of Congressional Ethics 
(OCE) transmitted to the Committee a Report and Findings (OCE's 
Referral) regarding Representative Luis Gutierrez. OCE reviewed 
allegations that Representative Gutierrez used his Members' 
Representational Allowance (MRA) to pay his former Chief of 
Staff, Doug Scofield, through his firm Scofield Communications, 
for services that may not be paid for using MRA funds. OCE 
found that there was substantial reason to believe 
Representative Gutierrez used funds from his MRA for an 
impermissible purpose--to retain Mr. Scofield to provide 
services to his congressional office that more closely 
resembled those provided by an employee or consultant, rather 
than a contractor--in violation of federal law and House rules. 
OCE's Referral also discussed a separate allegation: that 
Representative Gutierrez may have impermissibly granted special 
favors or benefits to entities that retained Scofield 
Communications as a lobbyist while the firm contracted with the 
Member's office. However, OCE's Referral did not assert that 
OCE found substantial reason to believe there was merit to this 
allegation. Thus, OCE recommended that the Committee further 
review only the allegation related to misuse of the MRA.
    The Committee did further review this allegation.\1\ After 
an extensive investigation, the Committee found that although 
an overwhelming majority of the work Mr. Scofield performed 
from 2003 to 2013 clearly accorded with the contract's terms, 
Mr. Scofield occasionally performed work for Representative 
Gutierrez's office that was either ``legislative'' in nature or 
otherwise exceeded the scope of work outlined in the contract. 
Representative Gutierrez thus impermissibly used MRA funds to 
pay Mr. Scofield for some work that exceeded the scope of the 
Scofield Communications contract, and the limits of what a 
contractor retained to provide services to a Member's 
congressional office may do, as defined by the Committee on 
House Administration (CHA). The Committee also concluded that 
the resulting violations, though unintentional, were 
significant enough to warrant a reproval by the Committee. 
While the Committee could not quantify the degree of the 
impermissible work or the associated MRA payments with exact 
precision, the Committee concluded, based on conservative 
estimation, as discussed further in this Report, that 
Representative Gutierrez must reimburse his MRA in the amount 
of $9,700, or approximately three percent of the total amounts 
paid from Representative Gutierrez's MRA to Scofield 
Communications from September 2007 until the contract's 
termination in June 2013.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\In the interest of completeness, the Committee also reviewed the 
allegation--which OCE did not recommend for further review--that 
Representative Gutierrez violated the Code of Ethics for Government 
Service, Section 5, by dispensing special favors or privileges to non-
profit entities that retained Scofield Communications for lobbying or 
fundraising services. As discussed further in Section V.C., the 
Committee found no evidence that this allegation was true.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Accordingly, the Committee unanimously voted to issue this 
Report, which will serve as a reproval of Representative 
Gutierrez's conduct, and concluded that he must reimburse the 
U.S. Treasury for those MRA funds used impermissibly. Upon 
issuance of this Report and Representative Gutierrez's 
reimbursement of the amount described above, the Committee will 
consider this matter closed.

                       II. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

    OCE undertook a preliminary review of this matter on July 
26, 2013. On August 25, 2013, OCE initiated a second-phase 
review. On November 22, 2013, the OCE Board unanimously voted 
to adopt the Findings and refer the matter to the Committee 
with a recommendation for further review. The Committee 
received OCE's referral on December 4, 2013.
    The Committee reviewed material provided by OCE, including 
its Report and Findings, along with other documentary and 
testimonial evidence obtained by OCE. In addition, the 
Committee's then-Chairman and Ranking Member sent 
Representative Gutierrez a Request for Information (RFI), and 
Representative Gutierrez voluntarily provided a brief narrative 
submission and relevant documents. In the course of the 
Committee's investigation, the then-Chairman and Ranking Member 
sent additional RFIs to Representative Gutierrez and five of 
his former staff members, seeking personal or non-official 
email communications related to any work Scofield 
Communications performed for Representative Gutierrez's office 
or campaign. Committee staff received and reviewed additional 
documents responsive to those requests.
    Some of the allegations reviewed by the Committee occurred 
before the 112th Congress, prior to the Committee's general 
investigative jurisdiction, which includes the current and 
three previous Congresses. However, pursuant to House Rule XI, 
clause 3(b)(3) and Committee Rule 18(d), the Committee voted to 
determine that these allegations were directly related to 
alleged violations that occurred within the Committee's general 
jurisdiction and did investigate those allegations.\2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\Representative Gutierrez paid Mr. Scofield with MRA funds for 
his services under the contract from March 2003 to June 2013. Thus, any 
alleged MRA payments to Mr. Scofield for services performed from 
January 5, 2011, to June 2013 occurred after the 112th Congress began 
on January 5, 2011. Any payments for services rendered by Mr. Scofield 
from March 2003 to January 4, 2011, occurred prior to the start of the 
112th Congress, and thus would be outside of the Committee's usual 
jurisdiction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In total, Committee staff reviewed over 10,000 pages of 
documents, including Representative Gutierrez's submissions and 
the other documents described above. The Committee also 
interviewed sixteen individuals, including current and former 
members of Representative Gutierrez's staff, current and former 
CHA staff who consulted Representative Gutierrez's staff on the 
Scofield contract, Mr. Scofield, and Representative Gutierrez, 
who fully cooperated with the Committee's investigation.
    In December 2017, the Committee notified Representative 
Gutierrez that it was considering the adoption of a public 
report that would serve as a reproval of him regarding this 
matter. Before the Committee decided how to resolve this 
matter, in accordance with House Rules, Representative 
Gutierrez was invited to be heard by the Committee in writing 
and/or in person.\3\ Representative Gutierrez opted to both 
provide a written submission, via counsel, and to appear in 
person before the Committee. The Committee carefully considered 
Representative Gutierrez's written submission and his 
appearance before the Committee while deliberating how to 
resolve the matter. Ultimately, the Committee determined that 
the appropriate resolution of this matter was to issue this 
Report, which will serve as a reproval of Representative 
Gutierrez's conduct.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\House Rule XI, cl. 3(a)(2).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

  III. HOUSE RULES, LAWS, REGULATIONS, AND OTHER STANDARDS OF CONDUCT

    Representative Gutierrez's contract with Scofield 
Communications to provide services to his congressional office 
may have implicated the following laws, House Rules, 
regulations, or other standards of conduct.
    Federal appropriations law states that ``[a]ppropriations 
shall be applied only to the objects for which the 
appropriations were
made . . . .''\4\ MRA expenditures are reimbursable according 
to regulations contained in the Members' Congressional Handbook 
(Members' Handbook), which provides examples of items for which 
reimbursement may be permitted, as well as a list of prohibited 
expenditures.\5\ Generally, the MRA ``may only be used for 
official and representational expenses,'' and ``may not be used 
to pay for any expenses related to activities or events that 
are primarily social in nature, personal expenses, campaign or 
political expenses, or House committee expenses.''\6\ The 
Members' Handbook states:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\31 U.S.C. Sec. 1301(a).
    \5\Exhibit 1 (Members' Handbook (2001)) at 8.
    \6\House Ethics Manual (2008) at 323 (hereinafter Ethics Manual).

          Each Member is personally responsible for the 
        payments of any official and representational expenses 
        incurred that exceed the provided MRA or that are 
        incurred but are not reimbursable under these 
        regulations.\7\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\Exhibit 1 at 9; see also Member's Handbook (2017) at 2.

The House Ethics Manual also states that ``Members may be 
personally liable for misspent funds or expenditures exceeding 
the MRA.''\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \8\Ethics Manual at 323.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regarding the retention of outside contractors or 
consultants, the Members' Handbook explains that ``only 
committees are authorized . . . to procure the temporary 
services of consultants. Consultants are not authorized for 
Member Offices.''\9\ Rather, Member offices may only retain 
``contractors.'' The Member's Handbook in existence at the time 
that Representative Gutierrez signed the initial contract with 
Scofield Communications stated that a Member office:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \9\Exhibit 1 at 13 (citing 2 U.S.C. Sec. 72a (recodified at 2 
U.S.C. Sec. 4301)).

        may contract with firms or individuals only for 
        general, non-legislative, office services (e.g., 
        equipment maintenance, systems integration, data entry, 
        staff training, photography, custodial services) for a 
        specific, limited time period not to exceed the 
        Member's term. Such contracts are reimbursable. Such 
        contractors are not employees of the House and are 
        ineligible for government-provided benefits.\10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \10\Id. The current version of the Members' Handbook, last updated 
on February 27, 2018, includes a revised contractor rule stating that 
general office services should be ``outside core office functions.'' 
See https://cha.house.gov/sites/republicans.cha.house.gov/files/
documents/member_services_docs/Members%20Handbook%20115th.pdf, at 6 
(last accessed Mar. 6, 2018). It also includes a revised consultant 
rule, which explicitly prohibits hiring speech writers and 
communications advisers. See id.

The Members' Handbook also states that ``Members are advised to 
consult the Committee on House Administration when entering 
into such contracts.''\11\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \11\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Code of Ethics for Government Service (Code of Ethics), 
section 5, provides that any person in government service 
should ``never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of 
special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for 
remuneration or not. . . .''\12\ The Ethics Manual notes the 
Committee ``has cautioned all Members `to avoid situations in 
which even an inference might be drawn suggesting improper 
action.'''\13\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \12\Code of Ethics for Government Service para.5.
    \13\Ethics Manual at 27.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, House Rule XXIII, clause 1, states that ``[a] 
Member . . . shall behave at all times in a manner that shall 
reflect creditably on the House,'' and clause 2 states that 
``[a] Member . . . shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of 
the Rules of the House. . . .'' (Emphasis added).

                             IV. BACKGROUND

    Representative Luis Gutierrez is the Representative for the 
Fourth District of Illinois. He has held that position since 
1993. Douglas Scofield served as Representative Gutierrez's 
chief of staff from 1993 until 2002, when he resigned his 
position in order to serve as deputy campaign manager for then-
Representative Rod Blagojevich's successful Illinois 
gubernatorial campaign.\14\ After working for a few months as 
then-Governor Blagojevich's deputy governor, Mr. Scofield 
resigned from that position to form his own consulting firm, 
Scofield Communications, in early 2003.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \14\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

A. Representative Gutierrez's Contract with Scofield Communications

    Shortly after founding Scofield Communications, Mr. 
Scofield, through his consulting firm, negotiated a contract 
with Representative Gutierrez's congressional office. Mr. 
Scofield told Committee staff he remained in touch with 
Representative Gutierrez during his time on the Governor's 
staff; when Representative Gutierrez learned that Mr. Scofield 
resigned from his new position, he ``wanted to know if [Mr. 
Scofield] wanted to come back on [official] staff.''\15\ When 
Mr. Scofield declined this offer, Representative Gutierrez 
decided to retain him as a contractor instead. At the time he 
made this decision, Representative Gutierrez told his then-
Chief of Staff ``we'd have Doug back on staff.''\16\ When 
Committee staff asked Representative Gutierrez what he meant by 
this statement, he said he had wanted to ``see if [Mr. 
Scofield] could continue to help with our staff and to work in 
our office,'' though not as an official employee.\17\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \15\Id.
    \16\Exhibit 2 at 3.
    \17\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Gutierrez told Committee staff he had no 
role in drafting his office's initial contract with Scofield 
Communications.\18\ Rather, Representative Gutierrez delegated 
the task of preparing the contract to his then-Chief of Staff 
and Mr. Scofield.\19\ Representative Gutierrez did not remember 
giving either his then-Chief of Staff or Mr. Scofield any 
parameters for preparing the contract.\20\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \18\Id.
    \19\Id. (``[M]y Chief of Staff and Doug Scofield had a very 
intimate working relationship for many years, and . . . I delegated to 
them this responsibility.'').
    \20\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The initial contract between Representative Gutierrez and 
Scofield Communications stated:


    Neither the contract, nor the Members' Handbook, define 
``non-legislative'' office services. However, the version of 
the Members' Handbook then in existence listed examples of the 
types of ``non-legislative'' work a contractor may perform for 
a personal office within the category of ``general office 
services.'' Though not intended to be exhaustive, the list 
included services such as ``equipment maintenance, systems 
integration, data entry, staff training, photography, custodial 
services, [and] web services.''\21\ Representative Gutierrez 
told Committee staff he never had discussions with either his 
then-Chief of Staff or Mr. Scofield about their understanding 
of the relevant CHA rules on hiring contractors.\22\ Nor did 
Representative Gutierrez recall having any conversation with 
Mr. Scofield as to whether or not Mr. Scofield would or would 
not be allowed to perform specific functions for his 
congressional office.\23\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \21\Exhibit 1 at 7.
    \22\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \23\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The contract also included a Scope of Work section, which 
listed tasks Scofield Communications ``may'' perform under the 
contract:


    While some of these areas of potential work are described 
broadly, the entire ``Scope of Work'' was subject to the 
contract's first clause, which stated that Scofield 
Communications was retained for the purpose of providing 
Representative Gutierrez's office with ``non-legislative, 
general office services.''\24\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \24\Exhibit 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Gutierrez personally signed the original 
contract between his congressional office and Scofield 
Communications on April 1, 2003.\25\ Though Representative 
Gutierrez told Committee staff he read the contract before 
signing it,\26\ he told OCE he had not read the agreement 
``with any attention to detail'' until June 2013, when his 
office first received press inquiries about the office's 
relationship with Mr. Scofield.\27\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \25\Id.
    \26\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \27\Exhibit 2 at 3.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Request for CHA Review of the Contract

    On April 1, 2003, Representative Gutierrez's then-Chief of 
Staff faxed a copy of a proposed contract with Scofield 
Communications--signed only by Mr. Scofield--to a professional 
staff member in CHA's Department of Member Services for the 
(Republican) majority (hereinafter ``Former Member Services 
Employee''). The then-Chief of Staff testified that, before 
sending the fax, she called CHA ``on behalf of the Congressman 
because we want[ed] to hire a former Chief of Staff,'' and 
asked the Former Member Services Employee whether that 
arrangement would be allowed.\28\ The fax included a cover page 
stating: ``As per conversation, please let me know [] if this 
contract falls within what is acceptable under the current 
regulations.''\29\ The then-Chief of Staff testified that it 
was ``impossible for [her] to remember what happened after this 
fax,'' or whether the Former Member Services Employee called or 
emailed her back.\30\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \28\18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A.
    \29\Exhibit 4.
    \30\18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Former Member Services Employee did not remember a 
phone call with Representative Gutierrez's then-Chief of Staff, 
nor did he recall an April 1, 2003, fax transmission, and 
current CHA staff did not locate any record of such a call or 
fax, or of any approval of the Scofield contract.\31\ However, 
CHA staff indicated that such records may not have been 
archived or otherwise preserved, given their age. 
Representative Gutierrez also did not produce any record of his 
former Chief of Staff's call with the Former Member Services 
Employee, or any evidence that CHA received the faxed contract, 
reviewed it, or approved it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \31\18(a) Interview of Former Member Services Employee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The absence of written records notwithstanding, both 
Representative Gutierrez's office and Mr. Scofield apparently 
operated under the belief that CHA had reviewed and approved 
the contract.\32\ Representative Gutierrez told Committee 
staff: ``I know we had the approval of House Administration for 
Doug to do many of the things that are included in this 
contract.''\33\ Representative Gutierrez said he knew this 
because his then-Chief of Staff ``told [him] that it was 
approved not only one time, but in subsequent years.''\34\ 
Representative Gutierrez also believed his then-Chief of Staff 
showed him documents or an email from CHA stating the contract 
had been approved,\35\ though the Committee found no such 
document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \32\See 18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A (``My understanding of 
the process is that the contractor doesn't get paid unless House 
Administration approves a contract that is approvable . . . So I assume 
the evidence that it got approved is that they made it possible for 
[Mr. Scofield] to get paid.'').
    \33\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \34\Id.; see also Exhibit 2 at 3 (Representative Gutierrez told OCE 
he believed the Scofield contract had been ``renewed five times under 
identical conditions.'').
    \35\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regardless of whether CHA ever formally approved the 
contract, as discussed below, there is evidence the contract 
was submitted for CHA's review, and it is clear the House 
Finance Office received multiple versions of the contract from 
2003-2013 and authorized payments under the contract from its 
inception until its termination in 2013. The Committee saw no 
indication that CHA or House Finance ever raised questions or 
concerns with Representative Gutierrez or his staff about the 
terms of the Scofield contract, or declined to authorize any 
MRA payments to Scofield Communications, until a USA Today June 
2013 newspaper story asserted that the payments may have been 
improper, at which point Representative Gutierrez consulted 
with CHA and terminated the contract.

C. Payments to Scofield Communications

    Beginning in March 2003, Scofield Communications issued 
non-itemized monthly invoices to Representative Gutierrez's 
office, charging a ``fee for services: as described per 
contract, including staff training [and] assistance with non-
legislative message development.''\36\ Mr. Scofield told 
Committee staff that he personally performed nearly all of the 
work billed under the contract.\37\ He also stated that the 
workload varied significantly by week: though he never tracked 
any of the hours he worked for Representative Gutierrez, Mr. 
Scofield estimated he may have done as little as two hours of 
work during slower weeks, and as much as thirty hours during 
busy weeks.\38\ Representative Gutierrez told Committee staff 
he expected Mr. Scofield to do ``a lot of work'' under the 
contract, and to be available ``whenever he was needed.''\39\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \36\See, e.g., Exhibit 5.
    \37\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \38\Id.
    \39\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For such work, Representative Gutierrez's office paid 
Scofield Communications a flat monthly retainer of $5,500 from 
March to June 2003, which was reduced to $4,500 month beginning 
in July 1, 2003.\40\ The firm was paid $4,500 per month until 
January 2013, when its monthly fee rose to $6,000.\41\ Though 
Mr. Scofield's firm was retained to provide services on a part-
time basis, its monthly fee was at times equal to, if not 
greater than, what some of Representative Gutierrez's full-time 
communications staffers were paid each month.\42\ 
Representative Gutierrez told Committee staff he ``never really 
gave it much thought'' that Mr. Scofield was compensated 
similarly to a full-time communications director on his 
staff.\43\ When Committee staff asked members of Representative 
Gutierrez's official staff to explain the parity in pay, they 
explained that Mr. Scofield was highly trained and valued 
within the office for his knowledge of Representative Gutierrez 
and his communications style.\44\ Representative Gutierrez 
provided a similar explanation: ``Doug really understands me, 
how I communicate . . . and it gave me such [] confidence that 
I would be communicating what I really felt and what my 
intentions were.''\45\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \40\Exhibit 6 at 2-3.
    \41\Exhibit 7.
    \42\By comparison, Representative Gutierrez's Communications 
Director was paid an average of $4,631.94 per month in 2004; in 2008, 
his Press Secretary was paid an average of $4,408.65 per month.
    \43\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \44\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A (``[M]essage is 
key. And Doug, for better or for worse, mastered that so brilliantly, 
that he was worth it.'').
    \45\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From March 2003 until the contract's termination in June 
2013, Scofield Communications received over $590,000 in total 
MRA payments for services provided under the contract. Payments 
to Scofield Communications were processed by a financial 
administrator, who submitted any invoices, along with vouchers 
that accompanied each payment request, to House Finance for 
reimbursement from Representative Gutierrez's MRA. 
Representative Gutierrez's financial administrator since 2008 
described her general practice for processing MRA reimbursement 
requests: where it is unclear if a specific expense may be paid 
using MRA funds, she escalates the matter to House Finance 
and--if it remains unclear--to CHA for guidance before 
processing.\46\ The Committee found no evidence that any 
individual Scofield Communications invoices were sent to House 
Finance or CHA for review prior to payment. The financial 
administrator also told Committee staff she never referred back 
to CHA guidelines on retaining contractors when processing 
Scofield Communications invoices because the Scofield contract 
was ``already in place when [she] came to work in the office 
[in 2008]. And it was approved by [House] Finance.''\47\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \46\18(a) Interview of Staffer B.
    \47\See id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

D. Services Performed Under the Scofield Contract

    The record shows Mr. Scofield performed a range of tasks 
consistent with the terms of the contract between Scofield 
Communications and Representative Gutierrez's congressional 
office. Representative Gutierrez appears to have retained 
Scofield Communications in large part to obtain Mr. Scofield's 
expertise in public communications. Accordingly, the Scofield 
contract anticipated that Mr. Scofield would be ``[a]ssisting 
staff or training staff in the areas of preparing remarks or 
press events,'' and ``assisting or training the staff to 
publicize programs and activities of Congressman Gutierrez.''
    With respect to his charge to ``assist'' with official 
communications, Mr. Scofield primarily worked with 
Representative Gutierrez's communications director. Mr. 
Scofield focused on ``helping the communications team run 
smoothly and ensuring consistency or strength of message,'' 
namely by assisting on messaging and speech writing.\48\ Mr. 
Scofield did so by regularly editing remarks prepared by 
official staff, assisting in responding to press inquiries, and 
drafting press statements and speeches for Representative 
Gutierrez.\49\ On various occasions, Mr. Scofield also assisted 
with communications tasks related to immigration casework, 
including working with local reporters to publicize 
Representative Gutierrez's work on such matters. In all of 
these circumstances, Mr. Scofield coordinated with official 
staff to make sure the language of any public statements 
reflected Representative Gutierrez's unique communications 
style.\50\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \48\18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A.
    \49\Even so, Mr. Scofield's speech-related work was sometimes 
intertwined with the legislative process, such as when he drafted, 
edited and commented on remarks that were intended as potential House 
floor speeches for Representative Gutierrez. See, e.g., Exhibit 8 
(Scofield: ``Thinking about the five minute . . . I will get something 
to you today. . .'') and Exhibit 9 (Communications Director states that 
``LVG wants a 5 minute on Wednesday on the PR police DOJ report'' and 
would ``like Scofield (by phone) . . . to work on it with him'').
    \50\18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Scofield also engaged in ``training'' Representative 
Gutierrez's communications staff. Following considerable staff 
turnover in 2003 (including Mr. Scofield's own departure as 
Chief of Staff), there was a ``hole in the office,'' 
particularly on the messaging and communications teams.\51\ 
Leveraging his decade-long experience in messaging for 
Representative Gutierrez, Mr. Scofield worked closely with the 
new press secretary to ensure that ``the messaging moved 
forward,'' in many cases providing initial drafts of press 
statements and speeches to serve as templates or 
guideposts.\52\ Mr. Scofield noted that this role also included 
a ``mentoring component.''\53\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \51\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \52\Id.
    \53\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to the core communications functions, the 
Scofield contract anticipated that Mr. Scofield would assist or 
train staff with a number of other tasks, including dealing 
with ``casework'' and ``community outreach efforts,'' attending 
``non-legislative meetings,'' and ``[p]roviding staff with 
guidance and training as determined necessary by the [M]ember 
of Congress or Chief-of-staff.'' Consistent with these terms, 
Mr. Scofield helped official staff to plan citizenship 
workshops in the district office, and spent considerable time 
training new official staff in a variety of areas. For example, 
Mr. Scofield organized, and made presentations at, staff 
retreats in 2003 and 2004, where DC and district staff met to 
improve office morale, strategize on dealing with the caseload 
of immigration-related constituent work, and in some cases 
discuss legislative efforts.\54\ Representative Gutierrez's 
former Chief of Staff told Committee staff Mr. Scofield ``ran'' 
these retreats approximately once per Congress.\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \54\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield; 18(a) Interview of Former 
Staffer A.
    \55\18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Gutierrez described Mr. Scofield's training 
role to be one of ``staff development'' and ``enhancement of 
skills,'' and said he never saw an endpoint to Mr. Scofield's 
role as a trainer under the contract.\56\ Representative 
Gutierrez also told Committee staff he never instructed Mr. 
Scofield how to train his staff, because Mr. Scofield had been 
training the staff when he served as Chief of Staff, and 
``[m]ost of the people that Doug hired were still there when he 
took on these new responsibilities.''\57\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \56\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \57\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, in addition to ``assisting'' and ``training'' 
official staff in a variety of specific areas, the contract 
included a broad catch-all authorization for Mr. Scofield to 
work in ``[o]ther relevant and appropriate areas as determined 
by the Member of Congress and Chief of Staff.'' Read without 
context, this term of the contract would seem to allow 
Representative Gutierrez to pay Mr. Scofield, using MRA funds, 
to do virtually anything the Congressman or his Chief of Staff 
wanted done. However, it bears emphasis that, under the 
contract's express terms, all of the work Mr. Scofield was 
expected to do would be in the category of ``non-legislative, 
general office services.'' That limitation matched the language 
of the section on retaining contractors found in the Member's 
Handbook in effect at the time the Scofield contract was first 
executed. Thus, under both the terms of the contract and CHA's 
guidance on hiring contractors, Mr. Scofield could only be 
reimbursed for performing work for the official office that was 
``non-legislative'' in nature, and that could be characterized 
as ``general office services.''
    Despite these limitations, some of the work Mr. Scofield 
performed for Representative Gutierrez's congressional office 
appeared to have a legislative component. Most notably, Mr. 
Scofield repeatedly advised Representative Gutierrez on 
legislative strategy surrounding immigration legislation. For 
example:
     In September 2007, the House Judiciary 
Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security scheduled a 
hearing on the STRIVE Act, Representative Gutierrez's 
comprehensive immigration reform bill. Prior to the hearing, 
Representative Gutierrez's then-Legislative Director told Mr. 
Scofield ``we have to start inviting witnesses this week,'' and 
that Representative Gutierrez asked her to ``consult with [Mr. 
Scofield] on moving forward with planning for the 
hearing.''\58\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \58\Exhibit 10.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In September 2009, Representative Gutierrez's 
staff discussed a number of strategic considerations for ``how 
to keep the pressure on the immigration debate'', including 
``what kind of a bill, how to roll it out and with whom.'' 
Representative Gutierrez's then-Legislative Director contacted 
Mr. Scofield after Representative Gutierrez asked her to write 
a memo laying out those considerations and get Mr. Scofield's 
``opinion on them.''\59\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \59\Exhibit 11.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In a series of emails in November 2012, Mr. 
Scofield advised Representative Gutierrez's staff on ``next 
steps'' for Representative Gutierrez's legislative strategy on 
immigration reform. To ``stay in the middle of the new 
immigration frenzy,'' Mr. Scofield suggested Representative 
Gutierrez meet with several Senators.\60\ Mr. Scofield also 
suggested Representative Gutierrez introduce his own 
immigration bill, because ``it seems like a natural reaction 
from the Congressman,'' and concluded it was ``probably worth 
making everyone react to his bill.''\61\ After continued 
discussion on the subject, Mr. Scofield emailed the 
Communications Director, copying the then-Legislative Director: 
``Are we doing a bill? I think we need to lay down a marker 
quickly.''\62\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \60\Exhibit 12.
    \61\Exhibit 13.
    \62\Exhibit 14.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In January 2013, the then-Legislative Director 
sent Mr. Scofield a memorandum that Representative Gutierrez 
``asked [] to put together for Scofield in particular,'' 
outlining the ``state of play with regard to legislative 
developments'' on immigration reform and ``seeking guidance [] 
on some key decisions.'' One of the decisions facing 
Representative Gutierrez, as detailed in the memo, was whether 
to ``put his name on the bill'' put forth by a bipartisan 
group.\63\ Mr. Scofield replied with his thoughts on which 
measure or legislative coalition Representative Gutierrez 
should support.\64\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \63\Exhibit 15.
    \64\Exhibit 16.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While there is no indication Mr. Scofield was asked to 
draft any part of an immigration bill, a member of 
Representative Gutierrez's staff did consult with Mr. Scofield 
on language for a separate bill in September 2009. On that 
occasion, a staff member asked for Mr. Scofield's input on the 
wording of a criminal penalties provision for legislation 
Representative Gutierrez planned to introduce regarding 
employer-owned life insurance.\65\ The staffer had drafted the 
penalty provision of the bill and asked Mr. Scofield: ``Do you 
think this is what the Congressman was talking about in terms 
of criminal penalties?'' The Committee has no record that Mr. 
Scofield replied to this question, or that Representative 
Gutierrez was aware his staff asked it.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \65\Exhibit 17.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Scofield was also apparently involved in drafting or 
editing legislative testimony: in April 2012, the then-
Legislative Director asked Mr. Scofield to advise on changes to 
a draft oral statement on the subject of racial profiling to be 
delivered by Representative Gutierrez at a hearing of the 
Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Human 
Rights, and Civil Rights.\66\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \66\Exhibit 18.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Scofield told Committee staff that any work he may have 
performed relating to legislation was ``strategic messaging'' 
of Representative Gutierrez's positions, and thus a 
communications function permitted under the contract.\67\ When 
questioned about examples of his potential involvement in the 
legislative process, Mr. Scofield stated that ``virtually 
everything that comes through a congressional office has a 
legislative component,'' and he only considered those things a 
``legislative assistant does day-to-day, attending committee 
hearings, tracking legislation, writing an analysis of a bill'' 
as the kind of ``legislative'' tasks he could not perform.\68\ 
However, Mr. Scofield acknowledged he may have performed 
``legislative'' tasks he was not authorized to perform under 
the contract, stating: ``Did they ask me to do some things on 
the continuum that are more legislative than others? I suppose 
they did.''\69\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \67\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \68\Id.
    \69\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In addition to performing work for Representative 
Gutierrez's office that appeared to include a legislative 
component, Mr. Scofield also performed a number of office 
management and administrative functions that closely 
approximated the duties of senior members of Representative 
Gutierrez's official staff. These functions were not clearly 
detailed in the ``Scope of Work'' section of the Scofield 
contract, and do not resemble the types of ``general office 
services'' the Member's Handbook permits contractors to 
perform. For example:
     In February 2010, the then-Chief of Staff asked 
Mr. Scofield to talk with an applicant for a ``press'' position 
with Representative Gutierrez's office, both to inform him of 
the demands of the job and to answer his questions about the 
position.\70\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \70\Exhibit 19.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In a memorandum addressed from Representative 
Gutierrez and written by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Scofield and 
Representative Gutierrez's Communications Director were asked 
to coordinate whenever they took vacation time ``to ensure that 
[the] office always has press and communications 
coverage.''\71\ When asked about the memorandum, Representative 
Gutierrez told Committee staff he expected Mr. Scofield ``would 
be there'' whenever the Communications Director was out of the 
office, so ``someone of his stature and someone of his 
competence [would] be in a position to answer questions to the 
media and the press and to help [Representative 
Gutierrez].''\72\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \71\Exhibit 20.
    \72\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Mr. Scofield told Committee staff Representative 
Gutierrez asked him to get ``a little more involved in the 
district office,'' to provide ``leadership'' in the office and 
fill a ``vacuum in leadership'' following the District 
Director's demotion in 2012.\73\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \73\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     In a September 2012 email to Mr. Scofield and the 
then-Chief of Staff, Representative Gutierrez instructed Mr. 
Scofield to ``evaluate district operations and report changes 
and improvements,'' prepare staff evaluations and ``make 
recommendations as to [staff] conditioned employment.''\74\ 
While the Committee's investigation could not confirm whether 
Mr. Scofield actually performed staff evaluations or made 
related recommendations, Representative Gutierrez said he was 
``sure'' that Mr. Scofield evaluated district operations and 
reported on changes or improvements to him.\75\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \74\Exhibit 21.
    \75\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finally, along with his substantial work for Representative 
Gutierrez's official office, Mr. Scofield also worked on a 
variety of campaign-related tasks for Representative Gutierrez, 
including, but not limited to: planning and staffing district 
campaign events; preparing scripts for ``robo calls''; and 
assisting with fundraisers.\76\ On at least one occasion, in 
January 2008, Mr. Scofield also reviewed Representative 
Gutierrez's responses to a local news outlet's ``meet the 
candidates'' questionnaire. Though Mr. Scofield told Committee 
staff he billed Representative Gutierrez's campaign committee 
separately for some campaign work, he also explained there were 
a handful of ``incidental'' campaign tasks ``that required 
little time or effort'' for which he volunteered his time.\77\ 
Among such unpaid tasks, Mr. Scofield and Scofield 
Communications staff issued meeting invitations and placed 
follow-up calls to Black and Latino elected officials from 
Chicago, who convened on at least two occasions to discuss 
``common priorities and concerns'' in anticipation of the 2010 
general election.\78\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \76\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \77\Id.
    \78\Exhibits 22 and 23; 18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield (``I don't 
remember being paid for it.''). Committee staff also found no FEC 
records reflecting payments from Representative Gutierrez's campaign 
committee to Mr. Scofield or Scofield Communications for work done in 
2010 on the ``Joint Black Latino Luncheons.'' However, FEC records show 
that Representative Gutierrez used campaign funds to pay for meals for 
at least one of those meetings.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

E. Termination of the Contract

    In May 2013, Paul Singer, a reporter with USA Today, 
contacted Representative Gutierrez's staff with questions about 
the Scofield contract. This was not the first time questions 
about the contract were raised. Representative Gutierrez's 
Communications Director testified that ``a year earlier [in 
2012], a reporter got in touch with us about Scofield and 
whether he was under contract with our office.''\79\ The 
Communications Director recalled a separate press inquiry about 
the contract in 2010,\80\ and Mr. Scofield recalled previous 
press calls about the contract, likely in 2007 or 2008.\81\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \79\18(a) Interview of Staffer C.
    \80\Id.
    \81\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Representative Gutierrez, for his part, told the Committee 
he was unaware of these prior press inquiries, and that he 
first learned that there were questions about the Scofield 
contract in May 2013. Neither the Communications Director nor 
Mr. Scofield appear to have discussed the earlier press 
questions with Representative Gutierrez at the time they were 
raised, and Representative Gutierrez noted that no press 
stories resulted from the earlier press inquiries.\82\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \82\18(a) Interview of Staffer C; 18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On May 30, 2013, Representative Gutierrez's Communications 
Director sent the following response to Mr. Singer:

          Doug Scofield, the Congressman's former Chief of 
        Staff, through the Scofield Company, works with 
        District staff on a wide range of concerns, training 
        them to run the office and handle constituent services, 
        management and everything else they do. He trained me 
        and still works with me on some press issues, 
        especially Chicago-related press and who is who, and 
        helps draft or edit some statements and speeches.\83\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \83\Exhibit 24.

    Representative Gutierrez's Chief of Staff helped respond to 
Mr. Singer's questions by reviewing the office's records on the 
Scofield contract. She found the office's files ``didn't have 
much more'' than the then-Chief of Staff's 2003 fax 
transmission to CHA.\84\ Due to the lack of records, 
Representative Gutierrez's staff sought Mr. Scofield's 
assistance in responding to Mr. Singer's inquiry. Mr. Scofield 
testified the Chief of Staff told him Representative 
Gutierrez's records did not necessarily indicate that the 
contract had been approved repeatedly,\85\ and they were not 
sure ``that all of the appropriate procedures had been followed 
for approval.''\86\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \84\18(a) Interview of Staffer A.
    \85\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \86\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In response to Mr. Singer's questions, Representative 
Gutierrez's Chief of Staff also consulted with CHA. The Chief 
of Staff provided CHA with several iterations of the Scofield 
contract, and told CHA staff the contract had been approved by 
House Finance every Congress.\87\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \87\Exhibit 25; 18(a) Interview of Staffer A (``[T]he exercise of 
having to regenerate a contract and get it signed to submit to Finance, 
because they needed a copy of it, was . . . what communicated to me 
that Finance reviews it [every Congress].'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On June 4, 2013, Mr. Scofield wrote Representative 
Gutierrez's Chief of Staff and Communications Director with his 
views on some of the reporter's allegations, stating:

          The case they can make is that I do government work 
        outside the scope of the contact, though if you read 
        the contract it really is quite broad. We are following 
        the language of a repeatedly approved House contract, 
        and the worst that can be said is that I might 
        occasionally do more government, official work than is 
        specifically authorized.\88\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \88\Exhibit 26.

    On June 5, 2013, USA Today published a report by Mr. Singer 
on Mr. Scofield's contract with Representative Gutierrez, which 
noted Mr. Scofield had been retained since March 2003 to assist 
with training and ``non-legislative message development.''\89\ 
Mr. Singer's article also alleged that ``Scofield has 
represented clients in his communication and lobbying practice, 
including some for whom Gutierrez has sought federal aid.''\90\ 
The article quoted a spokesperson from CHA's minority staff who 
``confirmed the contract was approved.''\91\ Mr. Singer's 
article also stated: ``[I]n light of questions raised by USA 
Today, [Representative] Gutierrez has asked the House 
Administration Committee to review the contract.''\92\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \89\Paul Singer, ``Rep. Gutierrez pays Chicago lobbyist with tax 
dollars,'' USA Today, June 6, 2013, available at https://
www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/06/05/gutierrez-chicago-
lobbyist-scofield-staff-congress-democrat/2391499/ (last accessed Mar. 
6, 2018).
    \90\Id.
    \91\Id.
    \92\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    On June 12, 2013, Representative Gutierrez's Chief of Staff 
and several CHA staff members met to discuss the contract.\93\ 
CHA staff told Committee staff that, at that meeting, they 
raised various concerns with the contract. For example:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \93\18(a) Interview of Staffer A.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
     Based on the Chief of Staff's description of Mr. 
Scofield's duties, CHA staff was concerned Mr. Scofield had 
performed in a manner equivalent to official staff in some 
circumstances. For example, CHA staff observed that preparing 
remarks and press events are core duties of regular staff. 
Moreover, the type of ``training'' Mr. Scofield provided might 
also be typically provided by a Chief of Staff, Communications 
Director, or District Director.
     CHA staff was also concerned that the term ``non-
legislative message development,'' which was used in invoices 
to describe the firm's monthly work, was undefined by the 
contract, particularly in light of the potential difficulty in 
separating matters relating to a Member's voting decisions 
(i.e., ``legislative'' activity) from his or her message 
generally.
     The absence of any written documentation relating 
to CHA's review or approval of the contract was also a 
significant issue.
    According to the Chief of Staff, based on these concerns, 
CHA staff told her they did not recommend the contract continue 
``as is,'' and it should be either revised or cancelled.\94\ 
Representative Gutierrez told Committee staff that, until this 
point, he was unaware of CHA or House Finance having or raising 
any concerns with him or his staff about the contract.\95\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \94\18(a) Interview of Staffer A.
    \95\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is also worth noting that many of the concerns CHA staff 
expressed in 2013 related to the explicit terms of the Scofield 
contract--which CHA itself may have reviewed in 2003, and which 
House Finance received and did not object to over several 
subsequent congresses.
    Following the Chief of Staff's meeting with CHA staff, she 
relayed the concerns CHA staff had expressed to Representative 
Gutierrez, who decided to promptly terminate the Scofield 
contract. When Committee staff asked Representative Gutierrez 
what he then understood to be the problem with the contract, he 
said ``there could have been instances in which Doug Scofield 
acted as a consultant and/or an employee outside of the 
parameters of the contract.''\96\ Representative Gutierrez told 
OCE that, at that time, he ``saw that there were only two 
options: Mr. Scofield would have to become a full-time employee 
of the congressional office or he would have to resign.''\97\ 
However, Mr. Scofield did not wish to return as a congressional 
employee. As Representative Gutierrez explained to Committee 
staff: ``I looked at [Mr. Scofield's] contract, and as you can 
see his contract is very broad . . . it was pretty clear that 
you could blur the lines and if there is a blurring of the 
lines, you should let somebody go.''\98\ On June 13, 2013, 
Representative Gutierrez informed Mr. Scofield that he was 
cancelling the contract.\99\ Scofield Communications was paid 
for services rendered through June 13, 2013, at which point Mr. 
Scofield and his firm did no more work for Representative 
Gutierrez.\100\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \96\Id.
    \97\Exhibit 2 at 8.
    \98\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \99\Exhibit 27.
    \100\See Statement of Disbursements of the House, July 1, 2013 
through September 30, 2013, at 903, available at https://www.house.gov/
sites/default/files/uploads/documents/2013q3__singlevolume.pdf (last 
accessed Mar. 6, 2018); 18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

F. Potential Lobbying Activities by Scofield Communications

    As previously noted, the June 2013 USA Today article 
included allegations that two Scofield Communications clients--
the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Chicago Botanical 
Garden--sought federal earmarks from Representative Gutierrez 
while Mr. Scofield was under contract with his congressional 
office.\101\ Though Mr. Scofield registered as a lobbyist with 
the State of Illinois soon after forming Scofield 
Communications in 2003, he has never been registered as a 
federal lobbyist for any entity.\102\ Both Mr. Scofield and 
Representative Gutierrez testified that no one from Scofield 
Communications ever lobbied Representative Gutierrez or his 
congressional office.\103\ Representative Gutierrez also 
testified that he might have spoken with Mr. Scofield about his 
work at the Illinois state government level, but he never had a 
conversation with Mr. Scofield about being a registered 
lobbyist in Illinois.\104\ However, Representative Gutierrez 
told OCE that, after the press inquiries regarding Mr. 
Scofield's status as a registered state lobbyist, he determined 
it would be difficult to continue his contract with Mr. 
Scofield.\105\ Representative Gutierrez also stated it would 
have been difficult to identify and avoid potential conflicts 
of interests in the future, even if positions he were to take 
were wholly independent of Mr. Scofield's lobbying work.\106\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \101\See supra Section IV.E.
    \102\Exhibit 28; see also 18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \103\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield; 18(a) Interview of 
Representative Gutierrez.
    \104\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \105\Exhibit 2 at 7.
    \106\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            1. Greater Chicago Food Depository
    Scofield Communications engaged in state-level lobbying on 
behalf of the Greater Chicago Food Depository (Food 
Depository), though Mr. Scofield testified that his firm never 
did any federal lobbying for the organization.\107\ While Mr. 
Scofield was retained under contract, the Food Depository did 
have a ``big federal project . . . building a large building in 
[Representative Gutierrez's] district.''\108\ However, Mr. 
Scofield stated the Food Depository never spoke to him about 
the project, nor did he discuss the project with Representative 
Gutierrez. Mr. Scofield told Committee staff: ``I had no role 
in it.''\109\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \107\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \108\Id.
    \109\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In March 2004, Representative Gutierrez co-signed a letter 
drafted by Representative William Lipinski to Representative 
James Walsh, Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on VA, 
HUD and Independent Agencies, in support of a $2 million 
earmark for the Food Depository.\110\ On July 20, 2004, Mr. 
Scofield emailed Representative Gutierrez's then-Chief of Staff 
and asked: ``What do you think is the timing for any decision 
regarding the appropriation? Thanks, as always. Also, Food 
Depository success will help me to clear my mind and find a 
wealthy and handsome husband for you.''\111\ Neither Mr. 
Scofield's nor Representative Gutierrez's productions to the 
Committee included any replies to this communication.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \110\Exhibit 29 at 1.
    \111\Exhibit 30.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When Committee staff asked Mr. Scofield about this email, 
he said a representative from the Food Depository had called 
him, because she knew he worked for Representative Gutierrez, 
to ask whether he could find out about the status of the 
appropriation request.\112\ Representative Gutierrez's then-
Chief of Staff told Committee staff she did not recall having 
any discussions with Mr. Scofield about the timing of any 
appropriation to the Food Depository.\113\ The then-Chief of 
Staff said she did not handle appropriations as part of her 
duties, but ``if [Mr. Scofield] had made a call to the staff 
about this . . . [she] probably would have been alerted by the 
staff.''\114\ She said she ``must have had'' other 
communications with Mr. Scofield about the Food Depository, 
though she did not recall specific conversations on the 
subject. Nor did she recall anyone else in Representative 
Gutierrez's office having communications with Mr. Scofield 
about the Food Depository.\115\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \112\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \113\18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A.
    \114\Id.
    \115\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Food Depository received federal funding as part of a 
2005 omnibus appropriations bill. An undated internal 
memorandum prepared by Representative Gutierrez's staff labeled 
``2005 Appropriations: Member Project Requests'' listed 
appropriations requests made by Representative Gutierrez that 
made it into the final bill. The memo included an entry for 
``VA-HUD Greater Chicago Food Depository,'' in the amount of 
$539,500, which was listed under the heading ``Projects We 
Supported, But Did Not Take the Lead On.''\116\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \116\Exhibit 31; see also Exhibit 32.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Around the time of the USA Today story in June 2013, Mr. 
Scofield discussed his work for the Food Depository by email 
with Representative Gutierrez's Chief of Staff and 
Communications Director, when he provided his views on some of 
the reporter's allegations. Mr. Scofield wrote:

          On the food depository, I would re-emphasize that I 
        simply did not talk to Luis about money. A member of 
        Congress supporting an appropriation for a food bank 
        that feeds hungry people in his district is both 
        routine and admirable, and in this case not caused or 
        initiated by me--it was led by [Representative] 
        Lipinski and [Senator] Durbin.\117\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \117\Exhibit 26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In a separate email, Mr. Scofield stated: ``I think we can 
be more emphatic--[Representative Gutierrez] and Doug Scofield 
did not have any discussions about funding for the food 
depository. I strongly believe that is accurate.''\118\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \118\Exhibit 32.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All of the current and former members of Representative 
Gutierrez's staff who were interviewed by Committee staff said 
neither Mr. Scofield nor anyone associated with Scofield 
Communications ever lobbied them on behalf of the Food 
Depository.\119\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \119\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Staffer C; 18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Former Staffer B.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            2. Chicago Botanical Gardens
    Mr. Scofield told Committee staff the Chicago Botanical 
Gardens might have been registered as a lobbying client of 
Scofield Communications, though he did not advocate for the 
organization at the federal level.\120\ In March 2010, 
Representative Gutierrez sent a letter of support to the Chair 
and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on 
Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, 
and Related Agencies for a $620,000 earmark for the Chicago 
Botanical Gardens.\121\ The Committee's investigation revealed 
no evidence that Mr. Scofield or anyone from Scofield 
Communications was involved in requesting or otherwise 
preparing this letter.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \120\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \121\Exhibit 33.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By email to Representative Gutierrez's Chief of Staff and 
Communications Director, Mr. Scofield commented on the 
allegations from the USA Today story:

          I never lobbied for the Chicago Botanic Garden and I 
        don't know anything about an earmark for them and had 
        nothing to do with it. They were briefly a [public 
        relations] client. I never personally did any work for 
        them at all--it would have been other staff members of 
        the company, and it wouldn't have had anything to do 
        with Luis. I had no contact, ever, with anyone on the 
        Congressional staff, or Luis, about the Botanical 
        Garden.\122\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \122\Exhibit 26.

    All the current and former members of Representative 
Gutierrez's staff who were interviewed by Committee staff 
stated that neither Mr. Scofield nor anyone associated with 
Scofield Communications ever lobbied them on behalf of the 
Chicago Botanical Gardens.\123\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \123\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Staffer C; 18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Former Staffer B.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
            3. National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture
    Mr. Scofield told Committee staff the National Museum of 
Puerto Rican Arts and Culture (IPRAC) was a fundraising client, 
not a lobbying client, of Scofield Communications.\124\ Thus, 
Scofield Communications helped IPRAC raise money, but did not 
lobby for state or federal appropriations on the organization's 
behalf. However, in March 2007, a Scofield Communications 
employee sent Representative Gutierrez's then-Chief of Staff a 
completed federal funding request form for IPRAC, for the 
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, 
and Related Agencies for FY 2008.\125\ Mr. Scofield's wife, who 
was then employed by Scofield Communications, later 
communicated with the then-Chief of Staff on the funding 
request, in July 2007.\126\ Mr. Scofield's wife told the then-
Chief of Staff that she would send her a copy of their previous 
correspondence on the subject, and noted: ``That was the last 
correspondence there was on this except conversations that took 
place between Doug and Luis.''\127\ Mr. Scofield told Committee 
staff he was not involved in any work done by Representative 
Gutierrez on behalf of IPRAC in the fiscal year 2008 
appropriations bill passed by the House.\128\ Representative 
Gutierrez also told Committee staff he could not recall having 
any conversations with Mr. Scofield about IPRAC's funding 
request.\129\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \124\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \125\Exhibit 34.
    \126\Id.
    \127\Id.
    \128\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield (``Q: Were you involved in 
any work done by Representative Gutierrez on behalf of IPRAC in that 
VA-HUD Appropriations bill? A: No.'').
    \129\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In July 2007, a Scofield Communications employee emailed 
Representative Gutierrez's then-Deputy Chief of Staff and 
another staff member who handled appropriations matters, 
attaching a template of a letter of support for Senator Durbin 
to ``help secure the funds for IPRAC.''\130\ The email noted 
Mr. Scofield had been ``giving his input'' on the letter. The 
Deputy Chief of Staff asked: ``Is the objective to ask the 
Senator to support the House position in the Approps 
Conference?'' The Scofield Communications employee responded: 
``we [want] him to protect and support the $150,000 Congressman 
Gutierrez has secured in the [H]ouse.'' Representative 
Gutierrez's Deputy Chief of Staff then provided the Scofield 
Communications employee with some suggestions on the 
letter.\131\ When asked about this email, the then-Deputy Chief 
of Staff said that he did not recall why an employee of 
Scofield Communications would have written him about 
IPRAC.\132\ In their testimony to Committee staff, neither Mr. 
Scofield nor the former Scofield Communications employee could 
recall IPRAC requesting federal funding.\133\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \130\Exhibit 35; see also 18(a) Interview of Former Staffer B 
(``The only name that is referenced here is Natalie Angelo, who I think 
handled appropriations back then.'').
    \131\Exhibit 35.
    \132\18(a) Interview of Former Staffer B.
    \133\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield; 18(a) Interview of Former 
Scofield Communications Employee.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Each of the current and former members of Representative 
Gutierrez's staff who were interviewed by Committee staff 
stated that neither Mr. Scofield nor anyone associated with 
Scofield Communications ever lobbied them on IPRAC's 
behalf.\134\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \134\See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Staffer C; 18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A; 18(a) Interview of 
Former Staffer B.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                              V. FINDINGS


A. Unauthorized Use of the Members' Representational Allowance

    Federal appropriations law, which states ``[a]ppropriations 
shall be applied only to the objects for which the 
appropriations were made,'' restricts use of the MRA to only 
those purposes and reimbursements authorized by federal law or 
CHA regulations governing the reimbursement of expenses from a 
Member's MRA.\135\ The Members' Handbook, which details those 
regulations, says Member offices are authorized to retain 
contractors, not consultants. The Member's Handbook in effect 
at the time the Scofield Communications contract was in place 
also states Members, using MRA funds, ``may contract with firms 
or individuals only for general, non-legislative, office 
services . . . for a specific, limited period not to exceed the 
Member's term.''\136\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \135\31 U.S.C. Sec. 1301(a).
    \136\Exhibit 1 at 13.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Members' Handbook advises Members to consult the CHA 
when entering into agreements with contractors. The Committee 
found Representative Gutierrez took appropriate steps to get 
approval for the initial contract with Scofield Communications. 
While the Committee's investigation did not reveal conclusive 
evidence regarding CHA approval of the Scofield Communications 
contract, there is substantial evidence that CHA and the House 
Finance office either expressly approved Representative 
Gutierrez's contract with Scofield Communications, or at a 
minimum raised no objection to that contract from 2003 to 2013, 
until the press inquiries that eventually prompted 
Representative Gutierrez to terminate the contract. Once 
Representative Gutierrez became aware of CHA's concerns over 
the contract in 2013, he also took appropriate steps to address 
those concerns.
    It could be argued that some of the work the contract 
expressly authorized Mr. Scofield to do was beyond the scope of 
what CHA's Members' Handbook anticipated for contractors. 
However, the Committee did not find Representative Gutierrez at 
fault for permitting a contractor to perform work consistent 
with a contract that CHA--the entity that authors the Members' 
Handbook--appears to have reviewed and not objected to. 
Moreover, CHA has subsequently taken steps to review its 
regulations governing use of the MRA and related oversight 
processes.\137\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \137\In 2015, CHA publicly announced the creation of a working 
group ``to review current House regulations and explore ways to 
strengthen the regulations governing official expenses, as well as ways 
to enhance the training and educational opportunities available to 
assist each office with compliance.'' Comm. on House Admin., 
``Committee Members to Review House Regulations Governing Official 
Expenses,'' Mar. 27, 2015, available at https://cha.house.gov/press-
release/committee-members-review-house-regulations-governing-official-
expenses (last accessed Mar. 6, 2018).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A significant portion of Mr. Scofield's work from 2003 to 
2013 also accorded with the contract's terms and with the 
guidance in the Members' Handbook. Mr. Scofield regularly 
edited remarks prepared by official staff, assisted in 
responding to press inquiries, drafted press statements and 
speeches, organized staff retreats, and conducted training--all 
activities specified in the contract's scope of work.
    On the other hand, to the extent Representative Gutierrez 
used MRA funds to compensate Mr. Scofield for performing 
services that were both outside the scope of the contract that 
CHA reviewed and not authorized by the regulations detailed in 
the Members' Handbook, such disbursements were not 
permissible.\138\ And while a significant portion of the work 
Mr. Scofield and his firm performed for Representative 
Gutierrez's office was within the contract's broad terms--and 
fit the contract's description of ``non-legislative, general 
office services''--some of the services provided appeared to be 
``legislative'' in nature, or otherwise exceeded both the 
contract's scope and Members' Handbook guidelines governing the 
work contractors may perform for a congressional office. The 
phrases ``non-legislative'' and ``general office services'' are 
both important to this determination.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \138\Neither Representative Gutierrez nor Mr. Scofield has asserted 
that, while Scofield Communications was a contractor for Representative 
Gutierrez's office, Mr. Scofield performed any official work for the 
office in an unpaid, volunteer capacity. Thus, the Committee assumed 
Scofield Communications was paid, using MRA funds, for all of the 
official work it performed for Representative Gutierrez's office. If 
Mr. Scofield or Scofield Communications had performed work for the 
official office in a volunteer capacity, that would likely violate 
House Rule, XXIV, clause 1(a), which prohibits the maintenance of an 
``unofficial office account.'' See Ethics Manual at 284 (``[I]n 
addition to money, the prohibition on unofficial office accounts 
proscribes the private, in-kind contribution of goods or services for 
official purposes.''); see also id. at 288 (``A Member or House office 
may accept the temporary services of a volunteer, provided the Member 
or office has a clearly defined program to assure that: (1) The 
voluntary service is of significant educational benefit to the 
participant; and (2) such voluntary assistance does not supplant the 
normal and regular duties of paid employees. In this regard, 
limitations should be imposed on . . . the duration of services any one 
volunteer may provide.''). Indeed, the Committee has previously found 
that permitting a former Chief of Staff to volunteer with an office, in 
a capacity that included routine political advice to the Member, 
violated the prohibition on unofficial accounts. See House Comm. on 
Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Rep. E.G. ``Bud'' 
Shuster, H. Rep. 106-979, 106th Cong., 2d Sess. at 44-51 (2000).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee is unaware of a specific definition for a 
``legislative'' task in this context, either in the CHA 
regulations or in the Committee's guidance. Nor does the 
contract between Representative Gutierrez and Scofield 
Communications supply a definition. However, it is reasonable 
to conclude that a contractor who is retained to perform ``non-
legislative'' work should not be actively involved in a 
Member's decisions regarding whether, when, or how to introduce 
legislation. The phrase ``general office services'' is also 
important, as it modifies ``non-legislative'' in both the 
Scofield contract and the CHA guidelines regarding retention of 
contractors by personal offices. The Members' Handbook does not 
define ``general office services,'' but it does provide some 
representative examples: ``equipment maintenance, systems 
integration, data entry, staff training, photography, custodial 
services.''\139\ Notably, none of these tasks are even remotely 
related to the process of crafting and passing legislation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \139\Exhibit 1 at 13. The Members' Handbook, which was last updated 
on February 27, 2018, currently includes a revised contractor rule 
stating that general office services should be ``outside core office 
functions.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Generally speaking, both Representative Gutierrez and Mr. 
Scofield acknowledged that some of Mr. Scofield's work had at 
least some ``legislative component.'' When discussing his work 
generally, Mr. Scofield told Committee staff: ``Did they ask me 
to do some things on the continuum that are more legislative 
than others? I suppose they did.''\140\ Two incidents in 
particular illustrate the accuracy of this statement.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \140\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First, in September 2009, Representative Gutierrez's then-
Legislative Director emailed Mr. Scofield to tell him she 
``just sat down with the Congressman to discuss how to keep the 
pressure on the immigration debate, to keep things moving 
forward.''\141\ The then-Legislative Director clarified this 
``was not a conversation about bill content (although I am 
readying a bill), but about strategy: what kind of bill, how to 
roll it out and with whom.''\142\ The then-Legislative Director 
explained they ``talked about a number of considerations with 
regard to strategy,'' and said ``the boss asked me to . . . get 
your opinion on them.''\143\ This request was repeated in 
January 2013, when Representative Gutierrez sought Mr. 
Scofield's ``guidance on some key decisions'' with respect to 
various immigration bills being developed in the House.\144\ At 
Representative Gutierrez's request, the then-Legislative 
Director prepared a memorandum ``for Scofield in particular'' 
outlining legislative developments and strategic 
considerations, in preparation for a discussion as to what 
particular bill(s) Representative Gutierrez should sponsor or 
otherwise support.\145\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \141\Exhibit 11 at 2.
    \142\Id.
    \143\Id.
    \144\Exhibit 15.
    \145\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Moreover, as previously discussed, on at least one 
occasion, Representative Gutierrez's staff directly consulted 
Mr. Scofield for his input on a bill's substantive 
language.\146\ While it is unclear whether or how Mr. Scofield 
responded, there is no evidence in the record that Mr. Scofield 
ever declined to answer any question the official staff 
directed to him, or refused any request to do any particular 
task. Nor is there any evidence Mr. Scofield ever raised 
concerns that anything he was asked to do was beyond the scope 
of Scofield Communications' contract with Representative 
Gutierrez. Moreover, the mere fact that a member of 
Representative Gutierrez's staff would ask Mr. Scofield to 
weigh in on the language of a bill she was drafting for the 
Congressman suggests Representative Gutierrez did not set, or 
communicate to staff, clear limits on Mr. Scofield's services 
to the office.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \146\See supra Section IV.D (discussing Exhibit 17).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mr. Scofield told Committee staff he understood the 
contract to broadly permit his work on communications-related 
tasks for Representative Gutierrez, and that any work he may 
have performed relating to legislation was ``strategic 
messaging'' of Representative Gutierrez's positions, and thus a 
communications function. When questioned about documents that 
appeared to show his involvement advising Representative 
Gutierrez on strategic decisions regarding whether, when, and 
how to introduce legislation, Mr. Scofield stated ``virtually 
everything that comes through a congressional office has a 
legislative component,'' and that he only considered those 
things a ``legislative assistant does day-to-day, attending 
committee hearings, tracking legislation, writing an analysis 
of a bill'' as the kind of ``legislative'' tasks he could not 
perform.\147\ Yet there is no basis for concluding that 
``legislative'' work is limited to those tasks typically done 
by a legislative assistant. To start, the examples of 
permissible contractor services in the Member's Handbook 
involve no ``legislative component'' whatsoever,\148\ which 
suggests Mr. Scofield's interpretation of where the line falls 
is overly restrictive. Further, while it is true that Mr. 
Scofield's input on decisions about whether, when, and how to 
introduce legislation may have had a messaging-related 
component, they were also integral to the legislative process. 
Indeed, even some of Mr. Scofield's communications work was 
deeply intertwined in the legislative process, such as when he 
drafted, edited and commented on speeches Representative 
Gutierrez gave on the House Floor, some of which related to 
legislation.\149\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \147\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \148\See Exhibit 1 at 5.
    \149\Supra note 49.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Notwithstanding any ambiguities over whether some of the 
services Mr. Scofield provided under the contract were more 
``legislative'' in nature, Congressman Gutierrez has argued 
that the contract was broad and, more importantly, repeatedly 
``approved'' by CHA.\150\ Representative Gutierrez has also 
asserted that neither CHA nor the House Finance Office, when it 
received new copies of the Scofield contract at the beginning 
of each Congress, objected to the descriptions in the scope of 
work Mr. Scofield would perform.\151\ Thus, Representative 
Gutierrez asserts he reasonably relied on such ``approval'' to 
conclude that the Scofield contract, as well its descriptions 
of the tasks Mr. Scofield would perform, were permissible and 
compliant with relevant rules and regulations. To be clear, the 
Committee did not fault Representative Gutierrez for allowing 
Mr. Scofield and his firm to do the work specified in the 
contract, even if the Committee itself would have raised 
questions about the breadth of the contract in the first 
instance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \150\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
    \151\Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, even if CHA approved the Scofield contract, there 
is no indication CHA monitored or was informed of the work Mr. 
Scofield was actually doing for Representative Gutierrez's 
office. To the extent Mr. Scofield did work that exceeded the 
scope of the contract--however broad it may have been--CHA's 
approval of the contract's terms is no defense. Further, Mr. 
Scofield acknowledged the possibility that he did more official 
work for Representative Gutierrez than he was authorized to 
perform under the contract, noting in response to the inquiries 
from USA Today that ``the worst that can be said is that I 
might occasionally do more government, official work than is 
specifically authorized.''\152\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \152\Exhibit 26.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is also substantial evidence that, while the contract 
described Scofield Communications as an ``independent 
contractor,'' Representative Gutierrez and his office treated 
Mr. Scofield as equivalent to official staff. As a part-time 
contractor, Mr. Scofield's annual compensation was at times 
equal to, if not greater than, the salary of a full-time 
communications staffer in the congressional office.\153\ In his 
submissions to the Committee, Representative Gutierrez asserted 
Mr. Scofield's role in his office was distinct from that of 
official staff because:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \153\Under the contract, Scofield Communications was paid a monthly 
fee of $5,500 from March to June 2003, which was reduced to $4,500 
month beginning in July 1, 2003. See Exhibit 6. The firm was apparently 
paid at that same rate through 2008 and 2009. See Exhibit 36. By 
comparison, Representative Gutierrez's Communications Director was paid 
an average of $4,631.94 per month in 2004; in 2008, his Press Secretary 
was paid an average of $4,408.65 per month. Meanwhile, the firm's 
monthly fee rose to $6,000 per month in January 2013. See Exhibit 7. 
Current and former members of the official staff explained this parity 
in pay--despite Mr. Scofield's part-time, contractor status--by saying 
that Mr. Scofield was highly trained and valued within the office for 
his knowledge of Representative Gutierrez and his communications style. 
See, e.g., 18(a) Interview of Former Staffer A (``[M]essage is key. And 
Doug, for better or for worse, mastered that so brilliantly, that he 
was worth it.'').

          Mr. Scofield had no office space or office hours in 
        either the Washington, D.C., or district offices; he 
        did not use House equipment or resources to complete 
        tasks associated with his contract; he did not utilize 
        a House email address; he had no specific job 
        responsibilities, nor did he hire, fire, direct or 
        supervise any member of the official staff. Mr. 
        Scofield generally received assignments for specific 
        tasks, as provided by the contract, primarily from 
        Representative Gutierrez, his chief of staff or his 
        communications director.\154\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \154\Representative Gutierrez Submission (July 18, 2014) at 2.

While Mr. Scofield may not have had a desk in Representative 
Gutierrez's congressional offices, he appears to have spent 
considerable time in a district office in 2012, in order to 
fill a ``vacuum in leadership'' following a staff 
demotion.\155\ And while Mr. Scofield may not have hired or 
fired any congressional employees, he was asked by 
Representative Gutierrez on one occasion to ``evaluate district 
operations and report changes and improvements,'' prepare staff 
evaluations, and ``make recommendations as to [staff] 
conditioned employment.''\156\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \155\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \156\Exhibit 21.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Further, Representative Gutierrez described Mr. Scofield as 
``so tightly knit to our staff,'' that he was consulted 
``[w]henever he was needed'' and was expected to ``be there'' 
whenever the Communications Director was out of the office, so 
``someone of his stature and someone of his competence [would] 
be in a position to answer questions to the media and the press 
. . .''\157\ Representative Gutierrez told OCE that, given the 
breadth of the ``Scope of Work'' in the Scofield contract, ``it 
was pretty clear that you could blur the lines'' between what 
Mr. Scofield could and could not do. Yet Representative 
Gutierrez's own statements, actions, and failure to supervise 
both his contractor and his official staff contributed to this 
blurring. The difficulty began with Representative Gutierrez's 
2003 statement to his then-Chief of Staff that by retaining 
Scofield Communications, the office would have Mr. Scofield 
``back on staff.'' Given this statement and belief, it is not 
surprising Representative Gutierrez's official staff would not 
easily distinguish between Mr. Scofield's role as a contractor 
and his former role as Chief of Staff. Representative Gutierrez 
also failed to clearly define, and communicate to his staff, 
the boundaries of Mr. Scofield's role, which likely contributed 
to his performance of work that exceeded the scope of his 
contract, and the staff's practice of consulting Mr. Scofield 
on matters outside the contract's scope.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \157\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ultimately, the Committee found clear evidence that 
Representative Gutierrez directly asked Mr. Scofield on various 
occasions to perform work that was ``legislative'' in nature, 
beyond the scope of the contract Representative Gutierrez 
personally signed with Scofield Communications, or otherwise 
impermissible for contractors to provide to a congressional 
office. In addition, it appeared Representative Gutierrez made 
no effort to communicate to his staff any limits on the scope 
of work which staff could ask Mr. Scofield to do. The incident 
where a legislative assistant asked Mr. Scofield for guidance 
on specific language to insert into a bill illustrated the 
danger of such a ``hands-off'' approach to retaining a 
contractor, especially one who had previously served as the 
office's Chief of Staff.
    The Committee accepted Representative Gutierrez's assertion 
that he did not, until allegations surfaced in the press in 
2013, ``understand the extraordinary nature'' of the services 
Mr. Scofield was asked to perform as a contractor, or the House 
rules and CHA regulations governing such services.\158\ 
However, as previously discussed, it appears the press raised 
questions about Mr. Scofield's work with Representative 
Gutierrez's office on several occasions prior to the USA Today 
report in 2013, going back as early as 2007.\159\ The precise 
nature of these inquiries is not clear, and it does not appear 
the press published any reports about Mr. Scofield's role until 
2013. However, at a minimum, these inquiries could have 
prompted Representative Gutierrez's office to re-examine the 
Scofield contract and consider whether all of Mr. Scofield's 
work was consistent with the contract's terms and CHA's 
guidance. Even before and aside from any press inquiries about 
Mr. Scofield's role, Representative Gutierrez should have known 
the rules and regulations governing his use of the MRA,\160\ 
and should have better supervised Mr. Scofield's work 
performance to make sure it accorded with both those rules and 
the contract's terms.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \158\Id.
    \159\Supra Section IV.E.
    \160\See House Comm. on Ethics, In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Representative Ed Whitfield, H. Rept. 114-387, 104th Cong. 
2nd Sess. 44 (2016) (hereinafter Whitfield) (citing House Comm. on 
Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of Representative Richard 
Stallings, H. Rept. 100-382, 100th Cong. 1st Sess. 5 (1987) 
(hereinafter Stallings) (noting that the Committee has historically 
``refused to accept claims of mitigation that `would effectively result 
in the condonation of improper action based upon a defense of ignorance 
of House Rules, stating that `[s]uch an approach is clearly untenable 
on its face.''')).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    To his credit, when USA Today published its report in 2013, 
Representative Gutierrez promptly directed his Chief of Staff 
to consult with CHA staff. When CHA staff informed him the 
contract would have to be revised or canceled, Representative 
Gutierrez immediately terminated the contract. Further, 
Representative Gutierrez told the Committee he has gained a 
greater understanding of how and why Mr. Scofield's role with 
his office was in some ways problematic. As Representative 
Gutierrez explained:

          I have come to the understanding [of] what is a 
        contractor . . . House Administration isn't going to 
        come to my office every 6 months and say, hey, by the 
        way [Mr. Scofield] didn't do this, right? We have to do 
        that internally . . . And so--would I have done it 
        differently? Yeah, I would have done it really, really 
        differently . . . [and] I know ignorance is not an 
        excuse . . ..\161\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \161\18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez.

    Likewise, when Committee staff asked Representative 
Gutierrez about instances where he directed staff to consult 
with Mr. Scofield about the kind of immigration bills he should 
introduce, how he should position the bills to achieve passage, 
and who he should work with on the bills, he said: ``I get the 
legislative stuff, and I get where the questions are coming 
from, that is why [Mr. Scofield] was let go.''\162\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \162\Id. see also id. (describing his decision in 2013 to terminate 
Mr. Scofield's contract, Representative Gutierrez stated: ``[A]s I 
looked at his contract . . . it was pretty clear that you could blur 
the lines.'').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee found no reason to believe that 
Representative Gutierrez or his office intentionally misused 
the MRA in this case. Nor did Representative Gutierrez 
personally benefit from any misuse of MRA funds. The Committee 
also accepted Representative Gutierrez's subjective belief that 
the terms of the contract with Scofield Communications--however 
broad--were permissible, given his understanding that the 
contract was submitted for CHA's review, and that the House 
Finance Office continually authorized payments of Scofield 
Communications invoices from the contract's inception until its 
termination in 2013. Yet the evidence is clear that some 
portion of the work for which Representative Gutierrez used MRA 
funds to pay Scofield Communications exceeded the scope of the 
contract, as well as CHA rules defining those tasks that 
contractors retained by congressional offices may perform. Any 
use of official funds to pay Scofield Communications for such 
work violated House rules and CHA regulations restricting the 
MRA to approved uses.\163\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \163\Regarding Mr. Scofield's assistance on ``incidental'' 
campaign-related matters, the lack of detailed invoices or sufficient 
division between the performance of official work and campaign work 
could present a problem of appearances: members of the public or 
individuals unfamiliar with Mr. Scofield's practices might speculate 
whether Mr. Scofield was paid to do campaign work under the general 
retainer agreement. However, the Committee found no evidence that Mr. 
Scofield or anyone at Scofield Communications was paid for campaign 
work with MRA funds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As the Members' Handbook states, ``[e]ach Member is 
personally responsible for the payments of any official and 
representational expenses incurred that exceed the provided MRA 
or that are incurred but are not reimbursable under these 
regulations.''\164\ Consistent with this guidance, where 
Members have used official funds for impermissible purposes, 
the Committee has regularly directed them to repay any misspent 
funds.\165\ This requirement has most frequently arisen in 
circumstances where official funds were used for a Member's 
personal benefit or to benefit their campaign, which is not the 
case here. However, the Committee has also made clear that a 
Member is responsible to repay MRA funds used for impermissible 
purposes, even where neither the Member nor the Member's 
campaign benefitted from the use of official funds. Thus, in 
The Matter of Representative Mary Rose Oakar, the Committee 
concluded that Representative Oakar's payment of salary to an 
individual residing and working in New York directly violated 
House and statutory requirements that all individuals paid from 
the Clerk Hire Allowance were required to perform their 
official duties either in Washington, D.C., or in the state or 
the district represented by the Member.\166\ Though the 
Committee took no further action in the matter--in part because 
Representative Oakar admitted fault and had already reimbursed 
the U.S. Treasury for any impermissible disbursements--it 
stated that the Member, ``as the individual who authorized the 
erroneous salary disbursements, bore financial responsibility 
for all payments improperly made.''\167\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \164\Members' Handbook at 2; see also Ethics Manual at 323 
(``Members may be personally liable for misspent funds or expenditures 
exceeding the MRA.'').
    \165\See, e.g., Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the 
Matter of Representative Charles C. Diggs, H. Rept. 96-351, 96th Cong. 
1st Sess. (1979) (Member was required to repay House $40,031.66 for the 
``personal benefit he received from his misconduct'' in giving his 
office staff raises and requiring them to pay certain of his personal 
expenses out of those raises); Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, 
In the Matter of Adam Clayton Powell, H. Rept. 90-27, 90th Cong. 1st 
Sess. (1967) (Member was censured and fined $40,000 for various acts, 
including misappropriating public funds for personal travel, and for 
paying his wife a salary though she performed no official duties; the 
Committee noted that the fine would ``offset any civil liability of Mr. 
Powell to the United States of America with respect to'' the 
allegations.).
    \166\The Clerk Hire Allowance has since been merged into the MRA. 
See Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, Pub. L. 110-161, Division H, 
Title I--House of Representatives--Members' Representational Allowances 
Including Clerk Hire, Official Expenses of Members, and Official Mail 
(2008).
    \167\In so concluding, the Committee noted ``the individual who 
authorized the disbursements should be held responsible for such 
actions since the recipient is not in a position to set into motion the 
administrative process resulting in payment.'' Comm. on Standards of 
Official Conduct, Summary of Activities, One Hundredth Congress, H. 
Rept. 100-1125, 100th Cong. 2nd Sess. 7 (1989).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In some cases, however, the Committee has sanctioned 
Members for unauthorized uses of official funds, but has not 
required them to repay such funds. In The Matter of 
Representative Austin J. Murphy, the Committee recommended, and 
the House voted to issue, a reprimand to Representative Murphy 
for various violations of law and House rules, including 
permitting a private law firm, over a nine year period, to use 
office equipment, furniture, supplies, and a telephone account 
paid for with official funds.\168\ In resolving the matter, it 
appears the Committee did not discuss the possibility of 
requiring Representative Murphy to reimburse the U.S. Treasury 
for any impermissible disbursements from the MRA, nor did it 
cite the CHA regulation providing that a Member is personally 
responsible for such disbursements. Rather, the Committee noted 
Representative Murphy ``either disclaimed his knowledge or 
approval of [the improper use of official resources], or 
asserted that such instances were de minimis,'' and stated 
``precise quantification of the value of diverted resources is 
not possible.''\169\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \168\Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of 
Representative Austin J. Murphy, H. Rept. 100-485, 100th Cong., 1st 
Sess. 5 (1987) (hereinafter Murphy).
    \169\Id. at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In this case, Representative Gutierrez cannot claim he was 
unaware Mr. Scofield was asked to do work that exceeded the 
scope of his contract because, in several instances, it was 
Representative Gutierrez who asked that the work be done. Thus, 
while Representative Gutierrez may not have been aware of CHA's 
guidance on the work a contractor may do,\170\ and may have 
forgotten how the contracts he repeatedly signed defined those 
limits, he certainly knew Mr. Scofield was told to do 
``legislative'' work, and that Mr. Scofield did such work.\171\ 
Also unlike the Murphy matter, even though Representative 
Gutierrez asserts he did not learn of press inquiries about Mr. 
Scofield's contract until May 2013, his office had fielded 
questions about the contract several times, starting years 
before the USA Today article that ultimately caused him to 
cancel the contract. Finally, although the amount of 
impermissible work may have been minimal, relative to the vast 
majority of the work Mr. Scofield appropriately performed, it 
was not ``de minimis,'' because it was not negligible or 
inconsequential, given Mr. Scofield's billing rate and the 
significance of some of the impermissible requests to 
Representative Gutierrez's legislative goals and official 
work.\172\
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    \170\As the Committee has long made clear, ignorance of the law, 
rules, and other standards of conduct is not a defense or excuse. See 
supra n.160.
    \171\Representative Gutierrez also knew, or should have known, 
there was some limit on Mr. Scofield's relationship with the official 
office. When Representative Gutierrez signed the contract with Scofield 
Communications, he told his then-Chief of Staff something to the effect 
of ``we'd have Doug back on staff.'' See Exhibit 2 at 3. But there is 
no plausible reading of CHA's guidance on hiring contractors that would 
allow a Member to hire a contractor to do everything an official 
staffer would do. The Committee does not credit readings of the rules 
that have no reasonable basis. See, e.g., Comm. on Ethics, In the 
Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Don Young, H. Rept. 
113-487, 113th Cong. 2d Sess. 69 (2014) (hereinafter Young) (Member's 
receipt of travel ``based on an exception to the gift rule that does 
not exist'' was ``not a reasonable difference of opinion on the nature 
of the rules,'' but rather ``at best, a grievous error in 
interpretation.''). To the extent Representative Gutierrez knew or 
should have known that any reasonable reading of the rules required him 
to limit Mr. Scofield's work for the office in some way, he should have 
been more mindful of, and attentive to, what those limits were and how 
he could avoid exceeding them.
    \172\See, e.g., Black's Law Dict. (10th Ed.) (defining de minimis 
as ``trifling; negligible''); see also Ethics Manual at 96 (lobbyist's 
involvement in planning, organizing, requesting, or arranging a one-day 
event trip is permissible under House Rule 25, clause 5(c)(2) only if 
it is de minimis, meaning ``the involvement of a lobbyist . . . in 
connection with the trip must be `only negligible or otherwise 
inconsequential in terms of time and expense to the overall planning 
purpose of the trip.''').
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    As in the matter of Representative Murphy, in this case 
``precise quantification of the value of diverted resources is 
not possible.''\173\ Scofield Communications charged 
Representative Gutierrez's office a flat monthly fee for its 
services, over a span of over ten years, and did not track or 
itemize the value of its work on discrete tasks for the office. 
As a result, it is difficult to attribute individualized sums 
or hours worked by Mr. Scofield to specific tasks. Nor has 
Representative Gutierrez proposed any method for calculating 
the value of any MRA funds that may have been improperly spent 
to compensate Scofield Communications for services provided 
under the contract.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \173\See Murphy at 4.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, the Committee believes Members should be required 
to reimburse the U.S. Treasury for impermissible disbursements 
from the MRA even where the exact amount of such disbursements 
cannot be determined.\174\ This is particularly true where the 
Member was aware of, and in fact directed, the impermissible 
conduct. As previously discussed, the Murphy matter, which 
dealt with circumstances where the misspent funds were arguably 
de minimis, is distinguishable. In any case, a requirement of 
``precise quantification'' of amounts a Member must repay is 
not consistent with the Committee's more recent practice and 
precedent. For example, in The Matter of the Investigation into 
Officially Connected Travel of House Members to Attend the 
Carib News Foundation Multi-National Business Conferences in 
2007 and 2008, the Committee required Members to repay the 
value of travel they received from a private sponsor because 
the sponsor misled the Members and the Committee about the 
sources of funds for the travel.\175\ In calculating the 
amounts Members were required to repay, the Investigative 
Subcommittee (ISC) was unable to determine the precise value of 
the plane tickets Members received, because they were provided 
to the trip sponsor, and then to the Members, at a 
``promotional'' rate, but the airline could not determine what 
``non-promotional'' tickets, purchased at the same time, would 
have cost.\176\ Instead, the airline proffered the cost of a 
ticket purchased on the days the travel occurred.\177\ Faced 
with an inability to calculate the precise value of the 
tickets, the Committee required Members to repay the cost of a 
same-day ticket,\178\ even though that price likely exceeded 
the actual cost of the Members' tickets. In this and other 
recent matters, the Committee has directed Members to make 
repayments even where ``estimating [a] value is 
imprecise,''\179\ or determining a valuation ``is relatively 
complicated.''\180\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \174\In this case, the formula for determining the monetary value 
of any impermissible work is relatively straightforward: the Committee 
calculates the proportion of any month's billable work that consisted 
of impermissible tasks and applies that same proportion to the MRA 
funds disbursed to Scofield Communications. It is the key input to this 
formula--the amount of time that Mr. Scofield dedicated to 
impermissible work--that the Committee cannot precisely determine.
    \175\Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, In the Matter of the 
Investigation into Officially Connected Travel of House Members to 
Attend the Carib News Foundation Multi-National Business Conferences in 
2007 and 2008, H. Rept. 111-422, 111th Cong., 2d. Sess. 2-3 (2010).
    \176\Id. at n.387.
    \177\Id.
    \178\Id. at 75.
    \179\See Young at 62 (ISC could not determine the precise value of 
lodging and hunting services given to a Member because the host ``did 
not prepare an invoice for the trip'' and it was unclear what hunting 
services the Member took advantage of. Accordingly, the ISC valued the 
hunting services based on the least expensive option available).
    \180\Id. at 63 (ISC could not determine the actual value of food 
eaten by the Member, so it valued meals based on the maximum per diem 
rate for travel in the geographic area where the meals were taken).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Although the Committee could not determine the exact 
proportion of the payments to Scofield Communication 
attributable to impermissible work, the Committee has attempted 
to calculate a reasonable reimbursement amount. In so doing, 
the Committee placed considerable weight on the fact that, 
while Mr. Scofield occasionally performed work for 
Representative Gutierrez's office that was either 
``legislative'' in nature or otherwise exceeded the Scope of 
Work outlined in the contract, the overwhelming majority of the 
work Mr. Scofield performed from 2003 to 2013 clearly accorded 
with the contract's terms. Further, it appears the bulk of Mr. 
Scofield's ``legislative'' work for Representative Gutierrez 
began in the fall of 2007 and continued to the contract's 
termination in June 2013, a period when Representative 
Gutierrez was heavily involved in leading the effort for 
legislative fixes to the immigration system. Thus, having 
reviewed this evidence in light of the totality of the 
circumstances, the Committee believes a reimbursement of 
$9,700, or approximately three percent of the total amounts 
paid from Representative Gutierrez's MRA to Scofield 
Communications from September 2007 until the contract's 
termination in June 2013, would be appropriate to compensate 
the U.S. Treasury for any impermissible disbursements of MRA 
funds to Scofield Communications.\181\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \181\The Committee's calculation required some estimation, given 
the lack of detailed evidence as to the work Mr. Scofield performed 
over the contract's duration. The Scofield Company never provided 
Representative Gutierrez with invoices itemizing work on specific tasks 
or subjects; nor did Mr. Scofield or Representative Gutierrez's office 
maintain any time-keeping records for work performed or services 
billed. However, documents and emails produced to the Committee 
illustrate Mr. Scofield's involvement in specific tasks that were 
clearly legislative in nature or related to core office functions such 
as office management, as early as fall of 2007. Roughly three percent 
of the documents in the Committee's possession were identified as 
pertaining to either impermissible legislative or office management 
work by Mr. Scofield from 2007 until the contract's termination. Thus, 
the Committee determined that three percent of the fees charged by Mr. 
Scofield from September 2007 through June 2013, or $9,700, represented 
a conservative yet reasonable estimate of the share of his billings 
that should not have been paid using MRA funds. This estimated 
repayment amount compares to a total of $590,000 that Representative 
Gutierrez paid to Mr. Scofield using MRA funds across the contract's 
ten-year span. The Committee notes that this methodology likely omits 
some instances of impermissible legislative work performed by Mr. 
Scofield: witnesses testified that Mr. Scofield had regular calls and 
meetings with Representative Gutierrez and staff, the content of which 
would not necessarily be captured in the available documents.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Having considered the foregoing record and applied the 
relevant standards of conduct and related precedent, the 
Committee also concluded Representative Gutierrez's conduct in 
this matter warrants a public reproval. Although the Committee 
accepts Representative Gutierrez's assertion that he did not 
intend to misspend his MRA, he did directly ask Mr. Scofield, 
on several occasions to perform work that was ``legislative'' 
in nature, or otherwise exceeded the scope of the Scofield 
contract and CHA regulations. At a minimum, Representative 
Gutierrez inadequately supervised his staff's interactions with 
Mr. Scofield, and the work Mr. Scofield was asked to do, to 
ensure it accorded with both the contract's terms and CHA's 
regulations. These oversights resulted in an improper use of 
MRA funds to compensate Mr. Scofield for work he could not 
perform as a contractor, but which was nonetheless provided to 
Representative Gutierrez's congressional office over a ten-year 
period. Where oversights like these result in such repeated, 
substantial, non-technical violations of House rules, Committee 
precedent holds that a reproval is appropriate.\182\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \182\See Whitfield at 44 (citing In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Representative Phil Gingrey, H. Rept. 113-664, 113th Cong. 
2d Sess. 25 (2014) (hereinafter Gingrey) (finding violations of House 
Rules, and issuing a reproval, even though ``the Committee credited 
Representative Gingrey's assertion that he believed his actions were 
consistent with House Rules'')); see also In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Representative Shelley Berkley, H. Rept. 112-716, 112th 
Cong. 2d Sess. 10 (2012) (hereinafter Berkley) (reproval was 
appropriate even though ``[t]he ISC found that Representative Berkley 
mistakenly believed the rules governing what assistance her office 
could provide to her husband's practice required only that they treat 
him in the same manner by which they treated any other constituent''); 
Stallings at 5 (Committee issued a public reproval where the Member was 
unaware of the applicable House Rule and did not intend to violate it).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. House Rule XXIII, clauses 1 and 2

    As stated in previous reports, the Committee observes two 
basic principles when applying the first two clauses of the 
Code of Conduct. First, Members must at all times act in a 
manner that reflects creditably upon the House. Second, the 
Committee has noted that the Code of Conduct and other 
standards of conduct governing the ethical behavior of the 
House community are not criminal statutes to be construed 
strictly, but rather--under clause 2 of House Rule XXIII--must 
be read to prohibit violations not only of the letter of the 
rules, but of the spirit of the rules. Ethical rules governing 
the conduct of Members were created to assure the public of 
``the importance of the precedents of decorum and consideration 
that have evolved in the House over the years.''\183\ The 
standard ``provide[s] the House with the means to deal with 
infractions that rise to trouble it without burdening it with 
defining specific charges that would be difficult to state with 
precision.''\184\ The practical effect of Clause 2 is to allow 
the committee to construe the ethical rules broadly, and 
prohibit Members from doing indirectly what they would be 
barred from doing directly. The Ethics Manual states that ``a 
narrow technical reading of a House Rule should not overcome 
its `spirit' and the intent of the House in adopting that and 
other rules of conduct.''\185\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \183\House Comm. on Standards of Official Conduct, Report Under the 
Authority of H. Res 418, H. Rept. 90-1176, 90th Cong. 2d Sess. 17 
(1968).
    \184\114 Cong. Rec. 8778 (Apr. 3, 1968) (Statement of 
Representative Price).
    \185\Ethics Manual at 17 (citing House Select Comm. On Ethics, 
Advisory Opinion No. 4, H. Rept. 95-1837, 95th Cong. 2d Sess. App. 61 
(1979)).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee, after analyzing the conduct at issue in this 
matter under these standards, found Representative Gutierrez 
violated House Rule XXIII clauses 1 and 2, by paying Mr. 
Scofield as a contractor when he occasionally functioned as an 
official employee, and using MRA funds to pay Scofield 
Communications for some work that exceeded the scope of the 
contract. As noted previously, the Committee credits 
Representative Gutierrez's assertion that any impermissible 
disbursements from his MRA to Mr. Scofield were not the result 
of a deliberate intent to violate House Rules. Yet 
Representative Gutierrez's inattention to the rules and 
regulations governing the retention of contractors, and 
inadequate supervision of both his own staff and Mr. Scofield's 
work, resulted in the use of MRA funds to compensate Mr. 
Scofield for an array of tasks that he could not permissibly 
perform as a contractor.\186\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \186\Representative Gutierrez's inattention to the applicable rules 
and his contractor's relation to them bears some resemblance to the 
matter of Representative Young, whom the Committee reproved in part due 
to the ISC's finding ``that he was, at best, blithe with respect to the 
question of gift rule compliance,'' and exhibited a ``casual attitude'' 
regarding the relevant rules. See Young at 69.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee explained its approach to matters such as 
this one in a recent case, and it has followed this approach in 
many matters, over many years:

          [T]here is no evidence that [the Member] actually 
        intended to receive inappropriate gifts, or 
        purposefully violated the rules . . . But there are a 
        range of mindsets between completely innocent and 
        unforgivably corrupt. Somewhere along that span sit 
        Members who fail to exercise care that a reasonable 
        Member would exercise in similar circumstances to 
        ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct. And in 
        cases where a Member fails to exercise that care--where 
        they `should have known' . . . or they `lack[ed] . . . 
        discernible policies' for compliance . . . the 
        Committee has consistently reproved the offending 
        Members.\188\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \187\Young at 70.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thus, consistent with its precedent, the Committee has 
decided to publicly reprove Representative Gutierrez.\188\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \188\See Gingrey at 25; Berkley at 10; Stallings at 5.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Code of Ethics, Section 5

    The Code of Ethics was adopted by the House to assist 
federal employees, including officeholders, ``in guiding and 
correcting any tendency toward cynicism of the high trust 
associated with public service.''\189\ It thus reaffirmed 
standards of conduct ``to which all federal employees 
unquestionably should adhere.''\190\ In this spirit, Section 5 
includes two prohibitions applicable to House Members: (1) 
``never discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special 
favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or 
not;'' and (2) ``never accept for himself or his family, favors 
or benefits under circumstances which might be construed by 
reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his 
governmental duties.'' Finding a violation of Section 5 
requires no proof of a connection between an official action 
and compensation to the acting Member.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \189\Comm. on Post Office and Civil Service, Code of Ethics for 
Government Service, H. Rept. 1208, 85th Cong. 1st Sess. 1 (1957).
    \190\Id. at 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Committee has also long cautioned Members that when 
taking official actions, they must ``avoid situations in which 
even an inference might be drawn suggesting improper 
action.''\191\ Indeed, the Committee has found violations of 
Section 5 where an individual or entity is singled out for 
special treatment, and such special treatment creates an 
appearance of favoritism.''\192\ Representative Gutierrez seems 
to have recognized the appearances problem when he decided in 
2013 to terminate the contract with Mr. Scofield. That 
decision, Representative Gutierrez told Committee staff, was 
partly based on his belief that it would have been difficult to 
identify and avoid potential, prospective conflicts of interest 
with Scofield Communications clients, even if his policy 
positions were formulated and taken wholly independently of any 
lobbying work by Mr. Scofield.\193\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \191\See, e.g., Whitfield at 42 (citing House Comm. on Standards of 
Official Conduct, Investigation of Financial Transactions Participated 
In and Gifts of Transportation Accepted by Representative Fernand J. St 
Germain, H. Report 100-46, 100th Cong. 1st Sess. 3, 9, 43 (1987)).
    \192\See Whitfield at 42; Gingrey at 25 (noting that the Member 
``took some care to limit the scope of his official actions''); Berkley 
at 55-56 (noting that ``reasonable people would construe the benefit 
[the Member] received as her motivation, whether it was or not.'').
    \193\Exhibit 2.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In this case, the Committee did find some evidence that Mr. 
Scofield and/or employees of Scofield Communications discussed 
federal appropriations requests relating to Scofield 
Communications clients with Representative Gutierrez and/or his 
congressional staff.\194\ At least one email communication 
between Mr. Scofield's wife (an employee of Scofield 
Communications) and Representative Gutierrez's Chief of Staff 
also referred to a conversation between Mr. Scofield and 
Representative Gutierrez in the context of a federal funding 
request for IPRAC--an organization located in Representative 
Gutierrez's congressional district--though neither Mr. Scofield 
nor Representative Gutierrez recalled having such 
conversation.\195\ And at least one of Mr. Scofield's clients, 
recognizing Mr. Scofield's working relationship with 
Representative Gutierrez to their advantage, asked him to 
inquire about the status of an appropriation request.\196\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \194\Supra Section IV.F.3.
    \195\See Exhibit 34; 18(a) Interview of Representative Gutierrez; 
18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
    \196\18(a) Interview of Doug Scofield.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    However, while the Committee's guidance on this subject is 
intended to guard against even an inference of improper action, 
the Committee did not find any evidence that Mr. Scofield 
received special privileges on behalf of his firm's fundraising 
or state-level lobbying clients with respect to federal funding 
requests for their organizations. Nor did the Committee uncover 
any evidence that Scofield Communications employees or Mr. 
Scofield, who was not registered as a federal lobbyist at any 
time while retained under contract by Representative 
Gutierrez's congressional office, ever lobbied Representative 
Gutierrez or his staff on behalf of any Scofield Communications 
client. Thus, the Committee found no violation of Section 5 of 
the Code of the Ethics in this matter.

                             VI. CONCLUSION

    The Committee reiterates that none of its findings in this 
case should be read to indicate any knowing or willful intent 
by Representative Gutierrez or his staff to misuse the MRA or 
otherwise violate House Rules or CHA regulations governing the 
work contractors may perform for a congressional office. 
Although an overwhelming majority of work Mr. Scofield 
performed from 2003 to 2013 clearly accorded with the 
contract's terms, Mr. Scofield occasionally performed work for 
Representative Gutierrez's office that was either 
``legislative'' in nature or otherwise exceeded the scope of 
work outlined in the contract. Representative Gutierrez's 
payment to Scofield Communications for services that appeared 
to be ``legislative'' in nature, or clearly exceeded both the 
contract's scope and Members' Handbook guidelines, resulted in 
an impermissible use of MRA funds. Based on the totality of the 
circumstances, and consistent with prior precedent, the 
Committee decided to reprove Representative Gutierrez for his 
conduct in this matter. Moreover, the Committee concluded that 
Representative Gutierrez must reimburse the U.S. Treasury in 
the amount of $9,700 for those inadvertent misuses of MRA funds 
arising out of his congressional office's retention of Scofield 
Communications under contract from 2003 to 2013, or 
approximately three percent of the total amounts paid from 
Representative Gutierrez's MRA under the contract during that 
period.
    Upon publication of this Report and Representative 
Gutierrez's reimbursement of funds to the U.S. Treasury, the 
Committee considers this matter closed.

           VII. STATEMENT UNDER HOUSE RULE XIII, CLAUSE 3(c)

    The Committee made no special oversight findings in this 
Report. No budget statement is submitted. No funding is 
authorized by any measure in this Report.


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