Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez is being accused of violating Senate ethics rules by not disclosing or seeking proper permission to use air travel and lodging by a wealthy campaign donor.
“It does not appear that Senator Menendez’s apparent acceptance of private jet travel and luxury lodging was permitted by Senate gift rules,” the Middlesex County Republican Organization in New Jersey states in a letter to the Senate Ethics Committee.
“Nor does it appear that Senator Menendez disclosed acceptance of this travel and lodging on his financial disclosure form — as he would be required to do even if the gifts were otherwise permissible.”
The Washington Free Beacon
reports that the county Republican group says that public records and media reports indicate that Menendez failed to disclose and seek permission for flights to Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic between 2010 and 2012.
Records indicate Menendez made at least four trips on a corporate jet owned by Salomon Melgen, a Florida ophthalmologist who has donated more than $220,000 to Democratic candidates and committees since 1993, The Beacon reports.
Menendez received at least $12,600 from Melgen during that period, The Beacon reports.
Senate rules allow members to accept reimbursement from a private party for transportation, lodging, and other expenses related to official business, but the activity must be formally approved by the Senate Ethics Committee, the Beacon reports.
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