DOJ Opens Investigation Into GOP Rep. Ross Spano For Alleged Campaign Finance Violations

UNITED STATES - MAY 23: Rep. Ross Spano, R-Fla., makes his way to the Capitol for the last votes of the week on Thursday, May 23, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL) makes his way to the Capitol for the last votes of the week on Thursday, May 23, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
November 14, 2019 7:06 p.m.

An announcement by the House Ethics Committee on Thursday revealed that the Department of Justice is investigating Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL) for allegedly violating campaign finance laws.

House Ethics Committee Chair Ted Lieu (D-CA) and ranking member Kenny Marchant (R-TX) released a statement announcing that the DOJ had asked the committee to defer its investigation into Spano to the department.

Spano said in an official response that he plans to “cooperate fully with the Justice Department on this matter.”

“As I’ve said before, we acknowledged that mistakes were made with respect to the campaign loans, but those mistakes were completely inadvertent and unintentional,” he said.

During the 2018 midterms, the Tampa Bay Times reported that then-candidate Spano had declined to file a mandatory personal finance disclosure form until the Sunday before the elections on November 6.

The form revealed that Spano had received large loans from friends at around the same time he had funneled over $100,000 into his campaign, which he had claimed came from his “personal funds.” Though the form didn’t provide exact dollar amounts, the disclosed ranges of the loan sizes indicated that they were significant.

After winning the election, Spano submitted a filing with the FEC in December stating that he had borrowed $180,000 from two friends, and then he had lent $167,000 to his campaign.

After making the filing public, Spano admitted that he “may have been in violation” of campaign finance laws.

Read the press release below:

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