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Jan Baran Comments on Pending Ethics Matter involving Rep. Schmidt

USA Today
March 14, 2012

Wiley Rein Election Law & Government Ethics Practice co-chair Jan Baran was quoted in an article focusing on Congresswoman Jean Schmidt (R-OH) and the effect her primary loss may have on a pending issue before the House Ethics Committee which had ordered her to make payments to attorneys who had provided free services.

Because of her re-election loss, Ms. Schmidt is free to ignore the ethics committee's directive to pay the legal fees once she is out of office in early January. "When someone graduates from high school, they're no longer subject to detention," said Mr. Baran who noted that the ethics committee order is a congressional form of detention. "It's not unusual for members who have matters before the ethics committee to basically stall until they have left Congress. And then it's over. ... Once she's no longer a congresswoman, there will be no legal requirement for her to make any payments."