Top-ranking Democrat faces ethics complaint after allegedly using funds for 'body man'

The complaint states that "a live-in government staffer who admitted his job consisted of serving the entire Maloney family may be the most egregious example of this behavior yet"

Updated: August 7, 2022 - 8:11pm

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Democratic New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney faces an ethics complaint for allegedly using campaign cash to hire an aide to act as his "body man."

Maloney, who serves as chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, hired Harold Leath in 2014 for "personal services" as a "body man," according to a New York Post report.

"I was pretty much with the congressman everywhere he went within the district — if he went to a meeting, if he went out running. I would drive him everywhere he needed to go," Leath told the Post late last month.

"When I first started, my main responsibility was to make sure the congressman and his family never needed anything... I was to be there," he said.

Elisa Sumner, a former local Democratic official who is supporting Maloney's rival in the district's House primary, filed a complaint last week with the congressional ethics office.

"I am writing to request an official Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s reported abuse of his taxpayer-funded government staff," she wrote, according to the Post.

"Your watchdog office has previously done admirable work investigating comparable abuses committed by other Democrats and Republicans alike. But a live-in government staffer who admitted his job consisted of serving the entire Maloney family may be the most egregious example of this behavior yet," she said. "I urge you to thoroughly investigate this scandal and, if substantiated, ensure that Congressman Maloney’s illegal and degrading workplace practices are ended."

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