The Jackson County Sheriff sent a letter to the House Ethics Committee chair, ranking member on Tuesday asking for an update.
A release from Republican Congressional candidate Sheriff Mike Ezell of Jackson County says he sent a letter to the Committee on Ethics of the U.S. House of Representatives requesting a status update on several pending allegations against incumbent Congressman Steven Palazzo.
“I am writing to respectfully request a status update on your pending review of allegations made against Congressman Steve Palazzo (MS-4) from the Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics in the report that was transmitted to your Committee and publicly released on March 1, 2021. (Review No. 20-2124),” Ezell writes to Ethics Committee Chairman Theodore E. Deutch and Ranking Member Jackie Walorski.
Specifically, Ezell’s letter requests the status of the following pending allegations of misconduct against Congressman Palazzo that were described in the 47-page report from the Office of Congressional Ethics:
- “Rep. Palazzo’s campaign committee, Palazzo for Congress, reported campaign disbursements that may not be legitimate and verifiable campaign expenditures attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes. If Rep. Palazzo converted campaign funds from Palazzo for Congress to personal use, or if Rep. Palazzo’s campaign committee expended funds that were not attributable to bona fide campaign or political purposes, then Rep. Palazzo may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”
- “Rep. Palazzo may have improperly spent a portion of his Members’ Representational Allowance (MRA) on personal or campaign expenses. If Rep. Palazzo spent MRA funds on personal or campaign expenses, then Rep. Palazzo may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”
- “Rep. Palazzo may have performed official actions to assist his brother, Kyle Palazzo. If Rep. Palazzo performed special favors for his brother, then Rep. Palazzo may have violated House rules, standards of conduct, and federal law.”
Ezell’s letter to the House Ethics Committee also notes that the report stated that several witnesses, including Palazzo, “by declining to provide requested information to the OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics), did not cooperate with the OCE review.”
“I’m sending a letter to the Committee on Ethics today to respectfully request they provide an update on all of the allegations raised against Congressman Palazzo nearly one year ago,” Sheriff Ezell stated. “These are serious allegations and the people of South Mississippi have a right to know the final outcome of this ethics investigation on Congressman Palazzo as they consider who to vote for in the upcoming election.”
Ezell launched his campaign for Congress in April 2021. He is one of 5 Republican candidates thus far to qualify for the 2022 midterm race. The other are Congressman Palazzo, State Senator Brice Wiggins, Clay Wagner and Raymond Brooks.
As reported last week, an internal polling memo obtained by Y’all Politics for the Steven Palazzo campaign from Republican pollster Glen Bolger shows the South Mississippi Congressman with a substantial lead heading into the 4th Congressional District GOP primary in June.
The Palazzo campaign polling memo shows that Ezell is the only candidate among the challengers who have any significant name ID in the 4th District, pulling in 53% and gaining 17% favorability among respondents. Palazzo has a 98% name ID and over two-thirds of voters (67%) are favorable to him.
“Congressman Palazzo starts the race out with a whopping 65% of the vote. No other candidate even eclipses the double-digit mark. Mike Ezell is the closest, checking in at 8% of the vote. Wiggins pulls in 4%, Wagner sits at 2%, and Boyanton and Brooks both get 1% of the vote respectively,” the internal memo states.
You can read the full letter sent by Ezell to the House Ethics Committee below.