March 20, 2014
Former Congressional Chief of Staff Sued Over Financial Disclosure Filing Failure
The Legal Times reports: The U.S. Department of Justice is suing a former congressional chief of staff for allegedly failing to file a financial disclosure report. Joseph Hunter, who served as chief of staff for former U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon, R-Utah, never filed a final financial disclosure when he left Congress in January 2009, according to the civil lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In an email, Hunter said he thought he had filed the disclosure at issue and that "any oversight on my part is purely inadvertent." He said he would be contacting the Justice Department right away to resolve the problem.
From 2009 to 2012, the House Committee on Ethics sent annual letters asking him to send the disclosure, with no success, according to the complaint. The committee sent a final notice in August 2012, which, the Justice Department alleged, Hunter acknowledged receiving by signing a certified mail receipt. Hunter faces a maximum civil penalty of $50,000. Hunter did not have an attorney listed and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful. He recently has served as communications director for former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson. The case hasn't been assigned to a judge and no hearings are scheduled.