Huffpost Chicago

Joe Walsh Among Congress's 'Most Corrupt' Members In New Report

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U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) on Tuesday received the distinction of being named among Congress's thirteen "most corrupt" representatives by the group Citizens For Responsibility And Ethics In Washington (CREW).

The report says that the freshman Tea Party-affiliated Congressman's ethics issues "stem from his failure to pay child support and accurately disclose income and liabilities on his personal financial disclosure forms, and his campaign committee's inaccurate reporting of interest payment on his loans to his campaigns." These issues, according to the report, represent Walsh "act[ing] in a manner that does not reflect creditably on the House."

The seventh annual ranking, based on news reports, Federal Election Commission reports, court documents and financial disclosure forms, also included one senator -- David Vitter (R-La.) -- and five additional House members who received "dishonorable mentions." Altogether, the group includes seven Democrats and twelve Republicans.

Walsh spokesman Justin Roth responded to the ranking by describing CREW as having "a history of being a very left partisan group that tends to trash conservative leaders in Washington," according to NBC Chicago.

"Joe Walsh has not done a single thing that's corrupt and will continue to be a strong voice on conservative issues," Roth continued.

Walsh stands accused of owing more than $100,000 in back child support to his ex-wife Laura -- allegations he has dismissed as "wildly inaccurate," although a judge last week ordered Walsh to provide the court with proof that he is not a deadbeat dad.

In his ex-wife's filing, last December, she claimed that Walsh said he could not afford to make the payments for their three children while, at the same time, he loaned his own campaign $35,000 and took vacations abroad.

The back child support allegations are not the only questionable financial practice allegations Walsh has faced. While he was campaigning last year, former campaign field director Richard Cape claimed he would "spend, spend, spend uncontrollably." His former campaign manager Keith Liscio eventually sued for $20,000 in nonpayment, and two other staffers who quit accused him of not properly disclosing a 2008 home foreclosure and traffic citations to the public, taking their grievances public. Walsh also bounced checks, including one to a Republican fundraiser. Liscio's case against Walsh has since been settled.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story indicated that Walsh was sued by his former campaign field director Richard Cape. He was actually sued by former campaign manager Keith Liscio, who told HuffPost Chicago that the case has since been settled.

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