U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL,1) is under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) following questions raised by the Sun-Times and Better Government Association in a recent article. The Sun-Times/BGA probe questioned the use of a $1 million grant as well as the lawmaker's campaign spending.
Late last year, the Sun-Times and BGA questioned the use of $1 million in funds that was granted to an organization founded by the lawmaker. The funds came from SBC, which is now AT&T. The newspaper and watchdog group also questioned the use of funds for Rush's Beloved Community Christian Church, where he is a pastor, and also made note that the congressman failed to report information on paying rent for his congressional office, which could be a violation of House rules.
Rush told the Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet that he is being "totally cooperative" and "open" with the ethics office, and is encouraging everyone from his office who is questioned to do so as well. The lawmaker has not yet been questioned by the OCE.
The OCE is an independent, non-partisan group of eight members, including former U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert of Illinois, that looks into potential misconduct among U.S. representatives and, if necessary, will refer cases to the chamber's Ethics Committee.