Lobbying Rules
11:30 am
Wed February 26, 2014

McAuliffe Appointee Target of Investigation

Maurice Jones
Maurice Jones
Credit File Image

Virginia's House of Delegates has postponed a vote to confirm one of Governor McAuliffe's cabinet nominees … following published reports that he may have broken the law.  

Federal investigators are now looking into allegations that Commerce and Trade Secretary-designee Maurice Jones lobbied Congress while he was Deputy Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development. 

A report by the Washington Times indicates that a thousand emails were sent out on Jones' behalf asking recipients to encourage U.S. senators to vote in favor of a budget bill.  That allegedly violates an anti-lobbying law that prohibits certain federal officials from coercing lawmakers.

Jones doesn't deny it but reportedly says he was unaware of the prohibition. Investigators also state that a high-ranking official who counseled Jones at the time attempted to interfere with the investigation--and even threatened investigators.

The Virginia Senate had already approved Jones' appointment, but the Virginia House postponed its vote ahead of a Wednesday U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on the matter.