WASHINGTON — As U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey heads for the exits, the House Ethics Committee issued a “letter of reproval” today for Gingrey’s actions on behalf of an Ellijay bank.
The committee publicly revealed its findings that the Marietta Republican gave “special favors or privileges” to the since-failed Bank of Ellijay by allowing it to meet with top Treasury Department officials and key members of Congress about its pending application for TARP funds. Gingrey helped start the bank and his investment in it was worth as much as $500,000, according to a 2011 Reuters report that first raised ethics questions.
The key problem for Gingrey, in the Ethics Committee’s determination, was that he went out of his way to help the bank even though it was not in his district. Members are directed not to help non-constituents in such ways.