January 31, 2013
After Ethics Complaint, Senator Pays $58,000 for Flights to Dominican Republic
U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez this month wrote a $58,500 check to a company owned by a South Florida eye doctor and political fundraiser to reimburse him for two personal flights to the Dominican Republic that the New Jersey Democrat did not report on his Senate financial disclosure form, his office confirmed to NBC News Wednesday night.
The disclosure came as law enforcement sources confirmed that FBI agents searched the West Palm Beach, Florida, offices of the doctor, Salomon Melgen, Tuesday night as part of an investigation that includes agents from the Department of Health and Human Services.
Menendez’s office confirmed that the senator — who this week became chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee – wrote the check to Melgen from his personal account after aides reviewed his flight schedule in response to a complaint that a New Jersey Republican official filed with the Senate Ethics Committee last November. The complaint alleged that Menendez violated Senate Ethics rules by “repeatedly flying on a free jet to the Dominican Republic and other locations” and that the jet was provided by Melgen.
The full article may be found here.