In its first report of the new Congress, the office charged with investigating ethics complaints against members of the U.S. House says it had five ongoing cases at the end of March.
The Office of Congressional Ethics does not name the congressmen who are the subjects of ongoing investigations, but it is required to issue a quarterly summary of its activities. The latest summary (PDF), released today, says the office’s board authorized six preliminary reviews during the first three months of this year. One review ended, and the board authorized secondary reviews in the other five matters.
The office’s board includes several former members of the House who make decisions on whether to move forward with cases. The office is separate from the House Ethics Committee, which is made up of sitting congressmen.
Last year, there was speculation that the new Republican majority in the House might curtail the office’s power or even abolish it, because Republicans opposed the founding of the ethics office. That didn’t happen.