Bryson Morgan Comments on Financial Report Filled by Utah Rep.
Rep. Burgess Owens' congressionally required report disclosing his personal finances had problems.
The freshman Utah Republican reported amounts in the "current year" column, implying he made money from speaking engagements as a sitting congressman, which would be a violation of House rules. The filing also made it seem as if he was still on the payroll of Second Chance 4 Youth, a charity he previously led.
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At the request of The Tribune, Bryson Morgan, a former House Ethics Committee lawyer who is now in private practice, reviewed Owens' original report.
"There's some real sloppiness here," said Morgan, who is from Utah.
Morgan now works for Caplin & Drysdale, a leading elections and political law firm in Washington, D.C. He has advised Republicans and Democrats on how to fill out these forms. And he notes that members of Congress have plenty of help to ensure that they disclose their finances properly.
He pointed out errors in Owens' first report, including that the congressman listed income for the "current year" and that he didn't disclose what position he held for companies, even though in another section he said he was a consultant.
"At best," Morgan said, "this is a very cavalier attitude toward the ethics requirements."
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