Rep. Luis Gutierrez has paid more than $500,000 in taxpayer money to a Chicago lobbyist, according to USA Today. Paul Singer, the author of the article, joins us on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm.
Singer writes: "Lobbyist Doug Scofield, Gutierrez's former chief of staff, can train staff, review and help draft news releases, and help "publicize programs and activities" of the congressman, among other things. He can do all that and still not be counted as a member of Gutierrez's official staff. Instead, Scofield is paid as a contractor providing "training" under a contract approved by the Committee on House Administration." Read the full story.
Gutierrez released the following statement in response:
"The House Administration Committee reviewed and approved the contract with Scofield Company that was first established in 2003. That same contract has been renewed at the beginning of each new Congress, as the rules require.
"I have already requested that the House Committee on Administration once again evaluate the contract. As I have always done, I will follow their guidance and make any change they recommend to our contract with Scofield Company. I do not want to create even the impression of impropriety or the appearance of a conflict of interest with any contractor my office uses.
"Doug Scofield was never involved in requesting, discussing, or securing any federal funding for any clients and has never been a federal lobbyist. What he or others at Scofield Company did for other clients, whether in terms of lobbying the state government or serving as a PR firm, has never had anything to do with services his company provided for my office."