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House Ethics Committee investigates Virginia Rep. Tom Garrett

Freedom Caucus member Rep. Thomas Garrett, R-Va., with Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-S.C., speaks to reporters during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 19, 2017, calling on the House to vote on clean repeal of the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

The House Ethics Committee is reviewing an allegation that Republican congressman Tom Garrett of Virginia used congressional staff to perform personal errands.

The committee's chairman and ranking Democratic lawmaker say in a news release Tuesday that the committee got a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics dated Sept. 5.

That office had interviewed several of the congressman's aides and concluded that "Garrett and his wife requested extensive personal errands and unofficial work" from congressional staff.

The office investigates complaints from the public, but only the House Ethics Committee has the power to punish a lawmaker for wrongdoing.

Garrett is a first-term lawmaker who did not seek re-election. He said he needed to work on recovering from alcoholism and renewing his commitment to his family.

RELATED: Virginia GOP congressman to quit after reports of alcoholism, misuse of staffers


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