Chris Marquette

Man who threatened to shoot Ilhan Omar pleads guilty
Patrick Carlineo Jr., of Addison, N.Y., faces 10 years in prison and $250,000 fine

A New York man who threatened in March to shoot Rep. Ilhan Omar in the head pleaded guilty in federal court for threatening to assault and murder a U.S. official and being a felon in possession of firearms.

Patrick Carlineo Jr., of Addison, New York, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both. Carlineo entered his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in the Western District of New York in Rochester.

Campus Notebook: How much does a legislative director for Katie Hill make anyway?
More: stolen scooters, heroin, fellow Marco Rubio, trading Mark Warner

This week’s Campus Notebook features a little context on staffer pay in the office of former Rep. Katie Hill, arrests for scooter theft and a heroin bust, and payouts for two senators, for different reasons. 

Graham Kelly, who served as legislative director for former Democratic Rep. Katie Hill of California, earned an annual salary of $80,000, according to May 2019 payroll records from the Legislative Resource Center. The only staffer to make more than Kelly—there were other aides who made the same as him—was Emily Burns, Hill’s chief of staff, who made $130,000 a year.

Ethics Committee investigating Alcee Hastings relationship with staffer
Hastings is the third member or delegate since October that has been investigated for an alleged sexual relationship with a subordinate

The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday it is investigating Rep. Alcee L. Hastings and whether his relationship with a staffer, Patricia Williams, violates rules that forbid members from having sexual relationships with any subordinates in the House.

“I have cooperated with the Committee since May 14, 2019. As they continue to conduct their work, I stand ready to fully cooperate with their inquiry,” the Florida Democrat said in a statement.

Capitol Police sexual discrimination trial in the hands of jury
Department admits it ‘messed up’ procedure, but defends firing former officer

Summing up his client’s argument she was fired by the Capitol Police when a superior officer found out she talked to internal investigators about alleged sexual harassment, attorney R. Scott Oswald left the jury with a question Thursday.

Why would her assistant chief tell Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis to put disciplinary matters in the past, and that she could get back vacation time that had been frozen if she did, when the department was planning to fire her?

Capitol Police officials say former officer deserved to be fired despite procedural mistakes
Sourgoutsis alleges she was discriminated against because of her gender

Current and former Capitol Police officials testified Wednesday that former officer Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis deserved to be fired, even though the department made procedural mistakes while she was on the force.

Sourgoutsis alleged the Capitol Police discriminated against her based on her gender in a lawsuit filed in 2016. Her civil trial in federal court continues this week. 

Federal prosecutors want to remove Duncan Hunter’s lawyer
Hunter faces trial in January in California

Federal prosecutors are seeking to remove Duncan Hunter’s attorney, Paul Pfingst, from representing the embattled California Republican in his upcoming campaign finance case, alleging a conflict of interest.

Pfingst and his law firm, Higgs Fletcher & Mack, should be disqualified from representing Hunter because the firm also represents multiple witnesses who have testified adversely to Hunter’s interests and will likely be called as witnesses in his trial, U.S. attorney David D. Leshner, wrote in a court filing Monday.

High-ranking Capitol Police official admits he circumvented protocol to fire female officer
Third day of sexual discrimination trial reveals Sourgoutsis’ direct supervisors were not included in firing process

The male Capitol Police official who recommended the firing of a female officer testified Thursday that he arrived at that decision without ever meeting with her or consulting her direct supervisor.

It was the only termination endorsement Eric C. Waldow made while he was in the role of inspector, he said in D.C. district court on the third day of  the sexual discrimination case brought by the female officer, Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis.

Capitol Police sexual discrimination trial unveils male officers sleeping on the job and a lack of protocol with new employees
Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis has alleged she was fired for infractions male officers got away with

The second day in the case of a female Capitol Police officer who alleges she was fired on the basis of her gender provided details indicating the department failed to follow its own policies regarding the supervision and termination of new employees and allowed male officers who were caught sleeping on duty to remain on the force.

Tuesday’s revelations included several examples of new male officers who were disciplined for violations before their probationary periods ended but not fired. One unnamed male Capitol Police officer was found asleep on duty, leaning back in his chair with a roll of toilet paper wedged between his neck and the back of the chair. Another male officer, cited for sleeping on the job and for a failure to screen at a checkpoint, remains employed by the Capitol Police.

Former Capitol Police chief acknowledges ‘systemic failure’ in supervising new officers
Matthew Verderosa testifies in sex discrimination lawsuit against department

Former Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa acknowledged Tuesday there was a “systemic failure” at the department to properly supervise officers on probationary status before he took the top job in 2016. 

Speaking at the sex discrimination trial brought by former Capitol Police officer Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis, who alleges she was wrongfully terminated in 2015 because of her gender, Verderosa said he was concerned she “wasn’t properly evaluated from a performance standard.”

Campus Notebook: Capitol Police sexual discrimination trial set for Monday
Senate Indian Affairs Committee staffer paid to work Washington Redskins training camp

Are you ready for some football? How about a sexual discrimination case? Whatever it is, Campus Notebook is here for you. 

A sexual discrimination case against the Capitol Police could provide a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the secretive agency and the way women are treated in the male-dominated police force.

Democrats facing tough races receive suspicious packages after impeachment vote
Packages sent from National Republican Congressional Committee prompted Capitol Police to investigate

Several House Democrats in battleground districts complained Thursday that a political stunt by Republicans intended to warn them they would not be in office long because of impeachment instead ended up wasting the time of Capitol Police after aides complained of receiving suspicious packages.

The National Republican Congressional Committee sent packing boxes to the Capitol Hill offices of the Democrats, most of whom flipped Republican districts in 2018 and are expected to have competitive campaigns to keep them next year.

Former NJ Rep. William J. Hughes dies at 87
Author of machine gun ban, advocate of Jersey coastline served 10 terms

William J. Hughes, a 10-term congressman from New Jersey who authored a ban on machine guns and who was a fierce advocate for protecting the New Jersey coast before becoming a diplomat, died Wednesday at age 87.

Harvey Kesselman, the president of Stockton University, which is home to the William J. Hughes Center for Public Policy, announced the death in a letter to the university’s community on Thursday.

Matt Gaetz asks Ethics Committee to investigate Adam Schiff
Florida Republican, who is under ethics committee scrutiny himself, sees rules violations in impeachment probe

Rep. Matt Gaetz is asking the House Ethics Committee to open an investigation into Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, alleging House rules were violated in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Gaetz, a Florida Republican and staunch supporter of Trump, wrote to the Ethics Committee Wednesday alleging that Schiff provided the public with a “distorted” and “wildly-inaccurate” characterization of Trump’s July phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in which he is alleged to have withheld U.S. aid in return for an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden’s son, Hunter.

Spouse of Brian Schatz chief of staff has substantial fossil fuel investments
Eric Einhorn lists stock owned by spouse valued at $168,000-$445,000

While Sen. Brian Schatz aims to lead the charge in fighting climate change as chairman of a special panel dedicated to the issue, his top staffer’s spouse has substantial holdings in fossil fuel companies that produce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.

 

Duncan Hunter has a new lawyer for federal criminal trial
California Republican adds former San Diego County DA to fight campaign finance charges

Rep. Duncan Hunter has added a former San Diego County district attorney to his legal team for his upcoming criminal trial on campaign finance charges, but the federal government is challenging whether the attorney can represent the California Republican.

Paul Pfingst, of the law firm Higgs Fletcher & Mack, said his experience as a district attorney brings the personal experience of running a campaign to Hunter’s legal defense team comprised of five total attorneys.

Office of Congressional Workplace Rights report details disability access challenges
House, Senate office buildings restrooms, Senate subway pose barriers

Bathrooms in the House and Senate Office Buildings are riddled with barriers to people with disabilities and the Senate subway is ill-equipped to accommodate vision-impaired people, according to a biennial report on Americans with Disabilities Act inspections by the Office of Congressional Workplace Rights for the 114th Congress.

Of 2,568 barriers identified in the report, 1,051 were attributed to multi-user restrooms, marking 40 percent of such challenges. Hart topped Senate buildings with 490 barriers, Dirksen had 373 and Russell had 258 — totaling 1,132 barriers to those with disabilities, including 11 in the subway.

Campus Notebook: Idahoans in Africa highlight congressional travel
The latest travelogue and interesting disclosures

This week’s Campus Notebook highlights senators who recently jetted off to Mozambique, Israel and France and a staffer who sold a bunch of stocks, including from the tech industry. 

Idahoans in Africa: Sen. Mike Crapo and his wife Susan joined Sen. Jim Risch and his wife Vicki for a trip to Johannesburg, South Africa and Mozambique. Crapo and his wife’s trip, paid for by the International Conservation Caucus Foundation, cost $14,113. Risch and his wife’s trip, paid for by the same group, cost $13,758.

Office of Congressional Ethics has transmitted four matters to Ethics Committee for further review
Cases are deemed by OCE to have a ‘substantial reason’ to believe a violation may have occurred

The independent investigative entity that examines ethical transgressions of House lawmakers has undertaken five new matters to review potential misconduct and transmitted four cases to the House Ethics Committee for further review in the third quarter.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, according to its latest activity report released Thursday, deemed those four matters contain a “substantial reason” to believe a violation may have occurred. 

Trump nominates director of Government Publishing Office
If confirmed, Hugh Halpern would be first permanent director since 2017

The agency responsible for producing U.S. passports has been plagued by leadership instability since 2017, but President Donald Trump’s move to nominate Hugh Nathanial Halpern of Virginia to be the Government Publishing Office’s director Tuesday could end that streak.

Halpern worked as the director of floor operations for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan before Halpern retired in January. He was the staff director for the House Rules Committee and worked on several other committees, including the House Financial Services Committee and the House Energy and Commerce Committee over the course of 30 years.

Campus Notebook: Lawmakers to Prague, staff to Fargo, plus million-dollar trades
Lawmaker travel, stock trades, ethics complaints and other updates

Campus notebook this week highlights where a former top law enforcement official went after he retired from the Capitol Police, international travel by members, domestic travel of staffers and substantial stock trades.