Brian Tumulty of Gannett reports that former Rep. Eric Massa (D-NY) put his wife on his campaign payroll after he resigned from Congress and after he ceased to be a candidate for re-election. According to Massa’s quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Beverly Massa received $34,214 for April through June for serving as campaign treasurer, even though she was not paid for previously serving in the position.
Tumulty also reports that Massa paid for airfare, hotels, and meals at restaurants like Morton’s out of the campaign fund. Massa’s continued looting of leftover campaign funds is baffling given the scrutiny he is already under. As Tumulty reports:
The National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, filed a complaint in April because Massa’s campaign committee paid $31,896 to GMAC for a leased vehicle two days before Massa announced he would not seek re-election.
Massa purchased the vehicle on April 27, nine days after the Federal Election Commission received the complaint, according to Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center.
Although Massa is no longer a candidate and the campaign no longer owns the vehicle, it did pay $683 in vehicle maintenance at Fox Auto in Painted Post on May 18.
Boehm said his group still wants the FEC to investigate a $40,000 consulting payment that Massa’s campaign made to the former congressman’s chief of staff, Joe Racalto, shortly after Massa’s resignation.
Told of the $34,214 in payments to Beverly Massa, Boehm said he may add that issue to his organization’s complaint.
“The rule on that is you are allowed to employ relatives, but it must be for reasonable services rendered,’’ Boehm said.
He said it’s puzzling that if Beverly Massa received no payments for her services in 2009 when the campaign was receiving donations, she would be paid when there was no longer a campaign.
In April, Massa’s use of campaign funds for the car was reported by Jake Sherman of Politico. The payment to Racalto was reported by Carol Leonnig of the Washington Post.
Massa is also under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for allegations that he sexually harassed Racalto and other male staffers.
NLPC Files FEC Complaint Against Eric Massa