NY Dem Rep. Tom Suozzi hit with ethics complaint following years-late disclosure of stock transactions

A prominent New York Democrat who is running for governor, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY), has come under sharp scrutiny from ethics watchdog groups with regard to dozens of previously unreported stock transactions.

A formal complaint has now been filed with the independent Office of Congressional Ethics in relation to a recent filing from the congressman that belatedly disclosed 31 transactions dating from 2017 to 2021, Breitbart reported.

Per the 2012 STOCK Act, all members of Congress are required to report all stock transactions above $1,000 conducted by themselves, their spouses, or a third party on their behalf, no later than 30 to 45 days after a transaction occurs.

Transactions finally disclosed years later

Yet, according to the complaint filed by the nonpartisan Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, Rep. Suozzi only finally reported in March a collection of 31 separate transactions between 2017 and 2021 that were potentially worth up to a combined $885,000 at the time each transaction transpired.

“The disclosure law is fundamental and must be strictly enforced to determine whether a Member has used nonpublic information for profit or if their personal investments affected their action on legislation,” Kendra Arnold, executive director for FACT, said in a statement, according to Breitbart.

“There is no excuse for making disclosures months to years late, and Rep. Suozzi’s egregious delay makes the law completely ineffective,” Arnold added. “Thus, we are requesting the OCE investigate both the late disclosure violations, along with whether the trades themselves violated conflict of interest rules or were influenced by nonpublic information.”

Separate complaint filed last year over unreported transactions

The belated disclosure from Rep. Suozzi was first reported in March by Business Insider as part of its ongoing effort to highlight and hold accountable members of Congress who appear to be routinely skirting the disclosure requirements without any repercussions.

Notably, Suozzi was already being closely scrutinized for prior failures to adhere to the disclosure law by a different ethics watchdog group, the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, which previously filed a formal ethics complaint against Suozzi in 2021.

That complaint alleged that Suozzi had failed to properly disclose in a timely manner upwards of 300 separate stock transactions. It is admittedly unclear if any of the 31 just-disclosed transactions in March were included in the prior amount highlighted by the CLC.

“A perception of corruption”

A senior legal counsel for CLC, Delaney Marsco, told Insider that timely disclosures are vital in order for the voting public to know whether members may have financial conflicts of interest with regard to their transactions and legislation that may impact the value of their particular holdings.

“When there are years between these disclosures, we have no idea how members’ actions were affected by those interests,” Marsco said. “There is a perception of corruption, that members of Congress are intentionally hiding these trades — whether they are or not — there is a perception that it’s about insider information or that they don’t want us to see it.”

It remains to be seen if anything comes from the ethics complaint filed against Suozzi — the House Committee on Ethics rarely holds its own members to serious account — but while the congressman may dodge accountability with his colleagues, that certainly isn’t guaranteed with regard to New York’s voters, and this scandal could mark the end of his political career.

Latest News