Watchdog: Pompeo Broke Ethics Rules

Staff members were asked to pick up the dog and make salon appointments, report says
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2021 5:05 PM CDT
Pompeos Broke Ethics Rules With Personal Tasks: Report
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Florida in February.   (AP Photo/John Raoux, File)

More than 100 times, Mike Pompeo or his wife, Susan, asked State Department employees to handle errands and personal tasks for them, such as booking salon appointments and picking up the family dog. The former secretary of state told investigators the requests were minor, the sort of things friends do for friends. Pompeo's lawyer called the allegations a bunch of politically biased "picayune complaints." But the State Department's inspector general’s office has determined they broke federal ethics rules concerning the use of taxpayer-funded resources, Politico reports. The watchdog's office noted that small tasks aren't exempt from the rules, and that the Pompeos' requests altogether consumed a significant amount of employee time, paid for by taxpayers.

Susan Pompeo asked employees to buy a T-shirt for a friend and have flowers sent to friends recovering from illness. She wasn't a government employee, but staff members told investigators that they regarded her requests as being endorsed by her husband, per Politico. A report released in December found that ethics rules were not violated when Susan Pompeo went along on official trips with her husband, though it said the State Department didn't properly approve six of her eight trips. The new report notes the Pompeos didn't compensate staff members for the personal tasks, which took up their time when they were on duty and off. (President Trump fired a State Department inspector general who was thought to be investigating Pompeo.)

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