WASHINGTON — The U.S. House Ethics Committee on Friday said it had dismissed potential charges against Rep. Tom Suozzi for failing to file timely required reports on stock transactions because it was not a “knowing or willful” act.
In a statement, the committee said its five Democratic and five Republican members unanimously voted to dismiss a referral from the independent federal Office of Congressional Ethics that said Suozzi “may have violated House rules, standards of conduct and federal law.”
“I am grateful and relieved that the Committee on Ethics unanimously dismissed all allegations,” said Suozzi, a Glen Cove Democrat, in a statement. “Any errors in my reports were unintentional and quickly addressed.”
Suozzi has acknowledged he and his accountant did not file the reports within 90 days of individual transactions, as required by the federal STOCK Act and House rules, because they did not know they had to and faulted officials for not informing or advising them.
The committee’s statement said it also cleared Rep. Chris Jacobs (R-Orchard Park) and Rep. Pat Fallon (R-Texas) of failure to file timely stock trading reports.
The committee said it found the three congressmen “were generally unclear on the requirements” for the periodic filings, though the Office of Congressional Ethics pointed out ethics training on those filings is given to every House member.
On Sept. 23, 2021, Suozzi filed a corrective report disclosing 453 transactions from January 2017 to August 2021 valued at between $6 million and $19 million. But the ethics office said that even after that filing, it found another 31 transactions that Suozzi failed to publicly disclose.
Suozzi indicated the House never fined him for late filings, the ethic office said.
“I take ethics, including financial disclosure obligations, very seriously and made every effort to disclose information I believed needed to be reported,” Suozzi said Friday. Suozzi will finish his final term in Congress this year after choosing not to seek reelection but instead to run for the Democratic nomination for New York governor, a race he lost.