Ethics complaint against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney following Post’s report of possible employee abuse

An ethics complaint has been filed against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the head of the House Democrats’ campaign arm, over possible abuse of an employee for personal services – after a Post report revealed an aide had allegedly worked as the congressman’s personal “body man”. ”

Elisa Sumner, the former leader of the Dutchess County Democratic Party, which supports Maloney’s rival Sen. Alessandra Biaggi in the Aug. 23 Democratic primary for the 17th congressional district, filed her complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

“I am writing to request an official investigation into Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney’s abuse of his taxpayer-funded government employees,” Sumner said in the letter, seen by The Post.

The complaint cites The Post story about “body man” Harold Leath, which was published on Sunday.

“As you may already know, the New York Post reported on July 31, 2022: Maloney’s former ‘body man,’ a government employee, said, ‘I’ve been with the congressman pretty much everywhere he went within the district — if he went to a meeting when he ran. I drove him everywhere he needed to go. When I started, my primary responsibility was to make sure the congressman and his family never needed anything.”

Harold Leath
Harold Leath spoke to The Post at his Hells Kitchen apartment. Leath was previously hired by Rep. Maloney.
Robert Mueller

The complaint notes that outside of work, Leath frequently spent time with the congressman and his relatives, even registering temporarily to vote and staying at Maloney’s apartment.

“This story reports several overlapping and deeply troubling ethical violations that warrant close scrutiny: The government worker openly admitted to performing non-government, non-campaign work for Maloney and also providing services to Maloney’s family – which by definition is not the The case was related to his government duties,” Sumner said.

Sumner said Maloney and associates may have tried to “coerce” or “cover up” because Leath retracted some statements in a second interview with a Post reporter.

“Congress workers are hard-working officials who deserve dignity in the workplace. Your job is to help shape public policy and support voters not to pick up dry cleaning,” Sumner said.

“Your Office of Surveillance has previously done an admirable job of investigating similar abuses committed by other Democrats and Republicans alike. But a resident government worker who admitted his job was to serve the entire Maloney family is perhaps the most egregious example of this behavior yet. I urge you to thoroughly investigate this scandal and ensure that Congressman Maloney’s illegal and degrading practices in the workplace are ended.”

Rep. Maloney and Leath smile after attending one "color blaze" run.
Maloney and Leath smile after taking part in a Color Blaze run.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, as usual, declined to comment. It will make a public statement if it discovers any misconduct.

A Maloney campaign representative said he did nothing wrong.

“As our team originally told the Post, there is absolutely no basis for these libelous allegations. Rep. Maloney has always abided by campaign finance and House ethics rules, and any investigation, while useless, would prove that,” said Maloney campaign spokeswoman Mia Ehrenberg.

Leath shared a photo of himself swimming in the pool on Rep. Maloney's property.
Leath shared a photo of himself swimming in the pool at Maloney’s property.
Facebook/Harold H. Leath Jr.

She called the allegation of coercion “a ridiculous libel that is categorically false and based on nothing but Sumner’s malicious conjecture.”

Because of the Democratic district debacle, Maloney and Biaggi are running in a court-picked 17th CD in the suburbs and Hudson Valley north of New York City.

Instead of running against Maloney or Rep. Jamaal Bowman, suburban Rep. Mondaire Jones decided to relocate and run in the 10th congressional district, covering lower Manhattan and brownstone Brooklyn. Ethics complaint against Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney following Post’s report of possible employee abuse


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