John Lewis’ chief of staff cited for failing to report, pay taxes on $54k

The House Committee on Ethics on Friday released a letter “of reproval” to Michael Collins, chief of staff to U.S. Rep. John Lewis, for his failure to report or pay taxes on $54,000 from his boss’ re-election campaigns over five years.

A very detailed report can be found here.

“[I]t is the determination of the Committee that your conduct has brought discredit upon the House of Representatives,” says the letter to Collins from the bipartisan panel. Click here for the PDF – you can be read the spanking in its entirety below:

August 5,2011

Mr. Michael Collins

Office of the Honorable John Lewis

343 Cannon House Office Building

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Collins:

By a unanimous vote on August 1, 2011, the Committee on Ethics (Committee) voted to issue you this letter of reproval as result of your failure to disclose a total of $54,000 of income over the course of five years on either your Financial Disclosure Statements or your tax filings and failure to pay taxes on that income. The Committee has also voted unanimously to adopt the attached Report to the House of Representatives. You have agreed to accept this letter and the sanctions and remedies described below and waive further rights and procedures provided for in the Committee rules. This letter resolves the allegations referred to the Committee by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

The conduct to which you have admitted includes:

1. You received $5,000 income from the John Lewis for Congress campaign in 2005 and failed to disclose that amount of outside income or its source on your Financial Disclosure Statement for 2005 or your federal income tax return for 2005, and failed to pay income taxes thereon.

2. You received $7,000 income from the John Lewis for Congress campaign in 2006 and failed to disclose that amount of outside income or its source on your Financial Disclosure Statement for 2006 or your federal income tax return for 2006, and failed to pay income taxes thereon.

3. You received $5,000 income from the John Lewis for Congress campaign in 2007 and failed to disclose that amount of outside income or its source on your Financial Disclosure Statement for 2007 or your federal income tax return for 2007, and failed to pay income taxes thereon.

4. You received $10,000 income from the John Lewis for Congress campaign in 2008 and failed to disclose that amount of outside income or its source on your Financial Disclosure Statement for 2008 or your federal income tax return for 2008, and failed to pay income taxes thereon.

5. You received $27,000 income from the John Lewis for Congress campaign in 2009 and failed to disclose that amount of outside income or its source on your Financial Disclosure Statement for 2009 or your federal income tax return for 2009, and failed to pay income taxes thereon.

You have stated that the above conduct was related to the fact that you never received 1099 reports from the campaign of your employing Member. However, the Committee finds that failure to receive 1099s from the campaign is not a sufficient excuse for failing to disclose and pay taxes on the income over five years.

Therefore, it is the determination of the Committee that your conduct has brought discredit upon the House of Representatives.

Furthermore, in addition to accepting this letter of reproval, you have agreed to the following remedies and sanctions:

1. Waive all further procedural steps and rights you may be entitled to in this matter under House and Committee rules;

2. Amend your Financial Disclosure Statements for the years 2005 through 2008 to correct all errors or omissions;

3. Pay a $1,000 fine (equivalent to five years of late Financial Disclosure filing fines) by December 31, 2011;

4. Provide to the Committee by September 30, 2011, an affidavit confirming that you have personally reviewed your income tax returns and Financial Disclosure Statements for the last six years for any and all errors or omissions and that you have made all necessary corrections and amendments;

5. Amend your income tax returns for the years 2005 through 2010 to correct all errors or omissions by September 30, 2011;

6. Report to the Committee immediately upon a determination of what additional taxes or penalties you owe;

7. Pay all unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest owed for the years 2005 through 2010, either to the IRS or the U.S. Treasury, regardless of any statute of limitations, by a date to be set by the IRS or the Committee after it receives the report required under paragraph 6;

8. Verify with the Federal Election Commission that the $450 you returned to the campaign at the direction of OCE is a permissible payment. If not, the Campaign will need to return the $450 to you to avoid an impermissible contribution, and you will need to contribute $450 to a charitable organization properly registered and qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, by September
30, 2011, so that you do not retain the excessive outside earned income; and

9. Provide the Committee with evidence of all of the above steps by the date indicated or to be set by the IRS or the Committee where applicable. If you fail to meet any of the above conditions at any time in this or future Congresses the Committee may re-open this matter and take further action. However, based on your admission and acceptance of responsibility for your actions, the Committee has determined that this matter is closed, subject to your satisfying the conditions above.

No statement yet forthcoming from Lewis’ office.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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64 comments Add your comment

clem

August 5th, 2011
2:24 pm

he lost his mind for a while, thought he was a big corporation or hedge fund manager……he should have put it in UBS with the other tax cheats whom we still don’t know

Democratic Plantation Dweller

August 5th, 2011
2:32 pm

This is just a ploy by the White man to destroy the Black Man.

Guy Incognito

August 5th, 2011
2:34 pm

Absolutely NOT shocking. Where’s that video proof of the racial slurs from the tea party after OblunderCare passed? Still waiting

Crickets…………..

SAWB

August 5th, 2011
2:34 pm

No, he is just an Atlanta politician another in a long line of people who got rich from corrupt dealings – Maynard, Andy, Bill, Shirley…

tarshard brown

August 5th, 2011
2:41 pm

Dat’s his job. Leave him b.

say what?

August 5th, 2011
2:42 pm

this is not a race issue, it is about those who have power/powerful connections who believe that the rules no longer apply to them.
Wrong color at issue, only color is GreeN.

ba

August 5th, 2011
2:43 pm

can’t a brotha catch a break?

Lawrence

August 5th, 2011
2:45 pm

These people think that stealing is not a crime.

rod

August 5th, 2011
2:46 pm

The Chief of Staff should be whipped for the error or fired they get to choose-lol.

The Outlaw Josey Wales

August 5th, 2011
2:49 pm

Is anybody really surprised by liberal hypocrisy any more?

Edward

August 5th, 2011
2:50 pm

The people in all the other political offices just haven’t been caught, yet.

Rob

August 5th, 2011
2:52 pm

SURPRISE!

No, not really.

Hide-n-seek

August 5th, 2011
2:53 pm

Oh, you didn’t know? The rules are for everyone not connected to the political power houses.

Ghost Rider

August 5th, 2011
2:56 pm

Obama’s got a job for him! He can take his place with the other non-taxpaying people who Obama has appointed!

CEW

August 5th, 2011
2:57 pm

Lewis is not concerned one iota with this. He knows that he has enough political connections in Washington to have it swept under the rug which regular there.

DownLouis

August 5th, 2011
2:57 pm

it’s amazing when i owed the IRS money (around $5,000) (which i have paid) – they acted like i was bringing the whole country down. And they came after me for it and got it.

The IRS never seems to bother anyone in polictics when it comes to tax collection.

Antonio The Enforcer

August 5th, 2011
3:06 pm

Al Capone got sent to prison for doing what politicians do every day. His biggest mistake was not going into politics. If he had, he would never have seen the inside of Alcatraz. He did other things but went to prison for income tax evasion.

TIM

August 5th, 2011
3:11 pm

A political hack didn’t pay taxes?? That’s a first.

Old Violin

August 5th, 2011
3:24 pm

This note to Democratic Plantation Dweller ! You sir are one of the main reasons this country is still too far behind in race relations…….Your statement is utterly sickning…..”This is just another ploy by the white man to destroy the black man”….When you cheat on your taxes for 10 years, fail to disclose money you get from a campaign, and flaunt your self worth to the public, you are wrong, and your ethnic back ground has nothing to do with it…..Al Capone was not a black man and he went to jail for the same kind of behavior…….You are in my prayers sir !

Edgar the true

August 5th, 2011
3:27 pm

John Lewis care about the citizens and taxpayers of this country was just reflected in the whole of congress. Pay was stopped for the FAA causing some four thousand FAA employees and multi-thousands of construction, supply, manufacturing, etc., employees to lose salaries used to pay taxes and support their families.
What did the vile self centered politicians in congress do about it? They adjourned and went on vacation till September. Average Americans have no representation in our elitist federal government.

Old Violin

August 5th, 2011
3:29 pm

I would call on John Lewis to do the right thing and see what he did ! If he doesn’t fire him, then he lends his support to this and should come on home before November 2012……

Come on Man

August 5th, 2011
3:35 pm

He should go to jail. If you or I did this, we would be in jail for 1 year or more. This is BS.

Ed

August 5th, 2011
3:39 pm

Just another deadbeat on Lewis’s staff. Know of another one who walked away from mortgage.

Sadly, I am stuck with him as my congressman. Majority on this district votes based solely on race not ability so stuck with stuff for a long while.

Ghost Rider

August 5th, 2011
3:44 pm

Edgar:

“John Lewis care about the citizens and taxpayers of this country was just reflected in the whole of congress”

Can you find an interpreter to tell us what you said?

Ghost Rider

August 5th, 2011
3:47 pm

Old Violin:

I think “Democratic Plantation Dweller” was just having a little fun when he posted.

Dennis

August 5th, 2011
3:56 pm

some people are just what they are……..

Kev

August 5th, 2011
4:02 pm

I’m sure that Rep. Lewis will take of this.

I’m not being ironic. I love my Congressman. Our two senators are a completely different story.

Diehard

August 5th, 2011
4:07 pm

When Congressman Deal’s chief of staff was similarly found “guilty” by the AJC of a more dishonest oversight, this was front page news. DOUBLE STANDARD. This tax cheat should resign. But that’s the racist in me.

SAWB

August 5th, 2011
4:14 pm

Funny thing is everyone hates Congress, but loves “their” Congressman. Anyone realize if we keep electing the same people and expecting change we are kidding ourselves. We need to clean house and implement term limits to keep the place clean. I would rather have an amateur who really cared about the average folk than some career politician that spends all their time trying to get re-elected and kissing – well you know.

alan

August 5th, 2011
4:39 pm

It’s ironic that when a Black person breaks the law, it’s because of his race. But when a White person breaks the same law, it because he’s a crook,etc., but his race is never brought up. This not only applies to breaking the law but this double standard is applied to other areas.

For example, if a business hires a Black person who doesn’t show up half the time, do a sorry job while at work, he gets fired (which is the correct thing to do) and the owner will think twice about hiring another black worker because Black people don’t want to work. Yet, if this same business owner hires a White guy who doesn’t show up half the time, do a sorry job, he gets fired but the owner doesn’t think twice about hiring another White person.

Real American

August 5th, 2011
4:43 pm

Diehard, did you even read what you wrote before you hit the “Submit Comment” button? You are stating that its a double standard that a MORE dishonest oversight garnered the front page? So by your own standards, even though one was MORE dishonest – its a double standard if they’re not treated the same?

SMH

Mike

August 5th, 2011
4:44 pm

Have to change a culture. John Lewis is part of the culture of deceit and arrogance. What do you think about this quote
Quote:
“So, rather than spend countless hours hitting the books, hold a protest march to demand that school officials lower standards and grant diplomas to just about everyone. SAT scores too low? No problem — just demand that colleges drop the SAT in favor of “community experience.” If the lack of a high school diploma is a disqualification for a good job, file a lawsuit to exclude a HS degree as discriminatory since fewer blacks graduate. Too few black office-holders? Don’t hone one’s political skills — pressure the Justice Department to gerrymander districts to guarantee that a black is elected. Befuddled by civil service exams? Sue for exams that whites and blacks pass in equal proportions. Can’t qualify for a home mortgage due to inadequate assets? Pressure banks to make the loan even if all signs point to a future default. Examples can be multiplied but the tactic is always the same: exert political power to achieve collectively what was once accomplished individually. “

RGB

August 5th, 2011
4:44 pm

Lawdy, lawdy, here come the dogs and fire hoses.

RAMZAD

August 5th, 2011
4:46 pm

@Plantation Dweller: You are a big part of the reason that black people have little credibility with the white man, blacks with integrity or anyone else. Here is this tax cheat in a high position who is
collecting all this money and not disclosing it, and you believe that this is a white plot to write out about him. You are enormously stupid, and I believe that your ignorance caused that. By the way, I
am as black as tar.

td

August 5th, 2011
4:46 pm

I will say the same thing about this man as I have said about Republicans in similar circumstances. When/if he is ever convicted of a crime then he should be fired immediately.

RAMZAD

August 5th, 2011
4:48 pm

More black people who can not play fair not even when it comes to represent one of our most respected black citizens in a sensitive and proper way. I hope the IRS breaks his neck.

RAMZAD

August 5th, 2011
4:53 pm

Come on black people- stop the killing, the cheating, defrauding, the smashing, the grabbing, the pimping and the scamming. Try to rise up to the level that Marcus Garvey told us we can reach.

Zashanetta

August 5th, 2011
4:53 pm

“…released a letter “of reproval” to Michael Collins,…”

Oooh NO Mr. Bill, a letter of reproval!!

On par with an overdue library book fine. If the guy just ignores it that’ll probably be the end of it. Congress is gutless and toothless.

4dees

August 5th, 2011
5:02 pm

You mean that wasn’t stimulus money???? Well, if Tiny Tim Geithner can be a tax cheat, why can’t he???

Eubieful O'Sheet

August 5th, 2011
5:25 pm

Just another Democrat politico who considers paying taxes as “optional”. (Rangel, Geithner, Kerry, Richardson, Kennedy (Caroline), McCaskill, Daschle, ad infinitum, ad nauseum)

Understand why Democrats are always so eager to raise taxes?

— because DEMOCRATS DON’T PAY TAXES.

tarshard brown

August 5th, 2011
5:50 pm

He didn’t done nothinh wrong

Mr. Thomas Anthony Jones, Sr

August 5th, 2011
6:11 pm

I think that all of the congresspeople staffers should be audited, especially all of the Republican staffers. I pray that we find a lot of crooked Republican staffers so we can embarrass the Republicans. Hay a good day.

td

August 5th, 2011
6:13 pm

Why has Jim not run a blog talking about this Newt statement? Because it is fact and makes Obama look bad.

“You don’t get out of 9.2% unemployment, you don’t get out of — today it was announced [that] the largest number of Americans [are] on food stamps in history. I’ve said now for six months, this is the most effective food stamp President in history. That sounds like it is an attack, it’s just a statement of fact. It’s just that his administration kills jobs. They are driving Americans onto food stamps. Most Americans would rather have a paycheck,” Gingrich

Smoke

August 5th, 2011
6:23 pm

WOW. Here is a guy that has gotten “rich,” by conservatives’ standards for not reporting an average of $10K per year. So that multi-million dollar scam of George Ervin Perdue was chump change.

Smoke

August 5th, 2011
6:25 pm

The most effective food stamp President in history is George W. Bush. I wonder if you can figure out why?

findog

August 5th, 2011
6:33 pm

td is right, God help me, if he done wrong he should be gone

Capsized in DeKalb

August 5th, 2011
6:34 pm

Did everyone hear John Lewis state this week that our President is being treated harshly because he is Black? Pleeeze! It has nothing to do with his skin color Congressman Lewis, it has everything to do with his lack of leadership and EXPERIENCE in the PRIVATE SECTOR which he is trying to destroy! (and doing a very good job of it!)

Us Govt 2010 income $21,700 (I dropped 8 zeros so everyone can understand)
Us Govt 2010 expenses $38,200
Us Govt new debt added to credit card $16,500
Outstanding balance on credit card $142,710
Amount cut from expenses from recent debt ceiling legislation $385

Let that sink in for a few moments and think where this country is heading!

Truther

August 5th, 2011
6:37 pm

Sounds like Old Violin is out of tune…HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Ghost Rider

August 5th, 2011
7:21 pm

alan:

“For example, if a business hires a Black person who doesn’t show up half the time, do a sorry job while at work, he gets fired (which is the correct thing to do) and the owner will think twice about hiring another black worker because Black people don’t want to work.”

Yeah. It’s kind of like electing a black President who “does a sorry job while at work”. I understand what you are saying . . .

Justine

August 5th, 2011
7:29 pm

Why do some people attempt to degrade ethnic groups by using negative language or grammar. Here is the situation. A high ranking employee of John Lewis failed to pay taxes on monies he received. It was an employee and NOT JOHN LEWIS. The issue is a personnel matter and one should WAIT TO SEE WHAT JOHN LEWIS DOES. Believe it or not we are not all stupid. We know who is behind this :story: and we know how sorry he was as a judge.