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Retiree files ethics complaint against embattled Fla. Rep. Buchanan

Venice retiree Donna Cubit-Swoyer has filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics, requesting an investigation of Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota.

Buchanan has been plagued with rumors of campaign fraud in recent years. In June, his former business partner was fined nearly $68,000 for reimbursing employees who donated to Buchanan’s 2006 and 2008 campaigns. That business partner alleges Buchanan himself orchestrated the scheme. At least 14 other lawsuits have made similar allegations.

Cubit-Swoyer’s complaint highlights recently filed court documents as a “basis to believe that Rep. Buchanan may have violated federal law and House standards of conduct by making untruthful statements to the Federal Election Commission in a matter involving illegal conduit contributions to his campaign.”

In an email, Cubit-Swoyer writes that she has no connection with Buchanan, other than that she is one of his constituents.

“I am disturbed by the allegations of Vern Buchanan’s contribution scheme,” she writes. “I expect my elected representatives to hold to the highest possible ethical standard. Everything I have read about Congressman Buchanan’s actions gives me reason to believe that he was less than truthful and brought disgrace upon himself and the Congress.”

According to the complaint, the Office of Congressional Ethics “has jurisdiction to investigate any allegation that a Member, officer or employee of the House, on or after March 11, 2008, has violated a law, rule, regulation or other standard of conduct in effect at the time the conduct occurred and applicable to the subject in the performance of his or her duties or the discharge of his or her responsibilities.”

Last month, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed an FBI complaint against Buchanan, asking that the bureau investigate Buchanan on charges of witness tampering, obstruction of justice and bribery, based largely on a deposition of one of his former business partners, Sam Kazran. Cubit-Swoyer references CREW’s complaint in her own, arguing that the sworn statements given by Kazran and other former Buchanan employees reveal that the congressman “may have violated the False Statements Act and House standards of conduct.” View the full complaint:

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