Ethics office raps Rep. Carolyn Maloney over alleged Met Gala solicitation
Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney “may have improperly solicited or accepted impermissible gifts” by pressing the Metropolitan Museum of Art to invite her to the posh Met Gala, the Office of Congressional Ethics said in a June report that was released Monday.
The office, which is run by appointees and employs investigators, recommended further action by the House Ethics Committee, which is composed of House members and has the authority to punish colleagues. The committee said Monday that it was extending its review, which could be the end of the case, since Maloney was defeated in this year’s Democratic primary and her term ends on Jan. 3. The committee released the OCE’s confidential 15-page report and 151 pages of exhibits.
A Maloney spokesperson said the 15-term Democrat from New York City was “confident the House Ethics Committee will dismiss this matter” and “disappointed by the unproven and disputed allegations in the report issued by the Office of Congressional Ethics and strongly disagrees with its referral.”
In the report, the OCE excerpts an email that describes how Maloney complained to Metropolitan Museum of Art officials when she wasn’t invited to the 2016 Met Gala, a fundraiser for the museum’s Costume Institute that is run in conjunction with Vogue magazine and is one of New York City’s glitziest events.
“I received a call this past week from Carolyn,” reads an April 2016 email from Emily Rafferty, a former museum president. “She is unhappy to say the least that she is not receiving an invitation to the Party of the Year. … She went on about how much she does for the Met, always responsive when you call, and proactive re the institution’s concerns in DC. She has been coming to the party for years, and it is the one thing she cares about. Somehow she knows that the numbers are not smaller this year, so that should not be an issue.”