This isn’t the first ethics accusation for Eddie Bernice Johnson

The congresswoman, whose district includes part of Oak Cliff, is under fire after violating ethics rules by awarding scholarships to her relatives. She repaid $31,000 to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, which provided the scholarships, and she told NPR she is embarrassed and didn’t know she was breaking the rules.

Why does that sound kind of familiar? Oh yeah! There’s this:

“This is an effort to embarrass me during an election year,” the Democrat told the Dallas Morning News in 1995.

That was after a top aide resigned and sent letters to the media accusing Johnson of ethics violations. The aide, John W. Cones, claimed Johnson required congressional employees to chauffeur her, on a daily basis, between her apartment in Virginia and her office near the Capitol, in violation of ethics rules.

Cones, whose salary was $60,000, also accused Johnson of requiring congressional staffers to work on her campaign and Democratic National Convention business, which is illegal and against ethics rules.

Johnson denied the accusations, saying her staffers volunteered to help her move and pick up her dry cleaning. If they worked for her campaign or the DNC, it was on their own time, she said. But she didn’t deny that staffers chauffeured her, voluntarily, of course. They picked her up in Virginia every morning, drove her home every night and shuttled her to and from the airport for weekend flights home to Dallas.

All the major newspapers in Texas ran with the story. But no newspaper seems to have followed up on it. We can’t find any story telling what happened to Cones or his accusations.


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