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Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings Faces House Ethics Investigation of Relationship with Top Staffer

Rep. Alcee Hastings speaks at a Congressional Black Caucus “Town Meeting” in Miami Gardens, Fla., in 2011. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)

Representative Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.) is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee over his relationship with a top staffer, according to a Thursday press release from the Committee.

“The Committee is aware of public allegations arising out of Representative Alcee Hastings’ personal relationship with an individual employed in his congressional office,” read the statement. “On May 14, 2019, the Committee . . . began an investigation regarding the allegations.”

While the announcement does not name the staffer, it is almost certainly Patricia Williams, Hastings’s district-office director and long-time partner, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Williams is Hastings’s highest-paid staffer and has worked in his office since 1993.

“As they continue to conduct their work, I stand ready to fully cooperate with their inquiry,” Hastings said in a statement in response to the Committee’s announcement.

Hastings was indicted on bribery charges in 1981 stemming from actions he allegedly took while he served as a federal judge. During that case, he was represented by Williams. He was acquitted in court, but was impeached and convicted in Congress, marking the sixth time in history that the Senate authorized the removal of a federal judge.

Williams has since been disbarred for numerous ethics violations.

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