Rep. Steve Buyer (R-IN) announced today that the Office of Congressional Ethics had closed with no further action a review of his foundation, which came under scrutiny last year for collecting donations from companies seeking to curry favor with Buyer but not giving out anything for its stated purpose of providing scholarships.
The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) had asked OCE, the independent House ethics office, to look at Buyer’s Frontier Foundation in January, citing reporting by TPMmuckraker and other outlets.
“This outcome verifies that my work in support of the Frontier Foundation’s effort to raise $1 million to build an endowment was appropriate,” Buyer said today.
Fired back CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan: “I think the fact that Buyer said he’s cleared is ridiculous. I think the IRS will take a less rosy view of this than the House.”
A spokesman for OCE declined to comment on the Buyer case.
Here, via WISH TV in Indianapolis, is Buyer’s full statement:
I am pleased to learn today that the Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics, after reviewing the CREW complaint, voted to close the matter with no further action; thereby resolving the matter. This outcome verifies that my work in support of the Frontier Foundation’s effort to raise $1 million to build an endowment was appropriate. I am confident the Frontier Foundation will have a positive effect on young adults for many years to come.
The political climate in Washington today is the worst I have seen in my 18 years of public service. The political attacks are more personal and negative in nature. Those in public office should be held to the highest standard; however, personal attacks by some media sources and outside political groups who maliciously assault an individual’s credibility by using libel, slander, and innuendo without merit or facts are not serving the public good. Doing so is merely eroding any comity that exists in Congress and hurts the institution.
I appreciate the Office of Congressional Ethics’ professionalism in resolving this matter.