Skip to content

House Ethics Committee Finds Whitfield In Violation



The House Ethics Committee found Rep. Ed Whitfield violated House rules by giving his wife, a registered lobbyist with the Humane Society, special favors and inappropriate access to his staff. “Specifically, the committee finds that Rep. Ed Whitfield failed to prohibit lobbying contacts between his staff and wife, Constance Harriman, and dispensed special privileges to Ms. Harriman, but that he did not violate the rule against improperly using his position for his own interest.”

 

Because the committee found that he didn’t intentionally violate House rules regarding lobbying by a lawmaker’s spouse, they decided not to sanction nor censure him. The committee did sharply criticize Rep. Whitfield over the access granted to his wife, including meetings between her and her employer, Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), and his staff. Those meetings resulted in the introduction of the PAST Act, which was written in conjunction between Whitfield’s staff and his wife’s employer HSLF and Humane Society of the United States.

 

The committee stated, “Rep. Whitfield’s staff granted Ms. Harriman unique access to the office, and treated her in a deferential matter, because she was the member’s spouse.”  They continued, “When she registered to lobby for HSLF, and later joined HSLF as a paid lobbyist, her access to Representative Whitfield’s staff, and the staffs’ treatment of her, should have changed accordingly. But by all accounts, nothing changed.”

 

Whitfield defended his actions by stating he didn’t know his wife was a registered lobbyist until several years into her job. House Ethics Committee members questioned that assertion by Whitfield as his wife was listed as a paid lobbyist with HSLF since 2011.

 

Whitfield will not seek reelection. Jamie Comer won the Kentucky primary for Rep. Whitfield’s seat, defeating a long-time member of Whitfield’s staff, Michael Pape.

More Stories

  • Latest Issue 10 21 19

    Read More
  • TWHBEA announces 2019 election results for 2020-2022 term

    TWHBEA announced the 2019 election results for the 2020-2022 term. See below the 2019 winners and runners up for the International Board of Directors. The term is to be served Dec 1, 2019–Nov. 30, 2022... Read More
  • Unanimous champions to receive some extra bling

    Everyone within the horse industry knows what it means when a horse and rider are called out of the line up as the “unanimous champions.” Indicative of an across-the-board first place win, a unanimous winner has received the winning nod of not just one judge, but the entire three- or perhaps even five-judge panel. Read More
  • NAS hosts information session about inspection study

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) hosted its first meeting Wednesday Oct. 16 to unveil details regarding its upcoming study to review the methods for detecting soreness in horses... Read More
  • Latest Issue 10 14 19

    Read More
  • NAS to host first meeting

    The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NAS) will host the first meeting of the study to review the methods for detecting soreness in horses on October 16, 2019. A portion of the meeting will be open to the public beginning at 11:00 AM ET with a welcome from Committee Chair, Dr. Jerry Black... Read More
  • Celebration attendance among students way up

    The Celebration has been giving thousands of horse show tickets to the students for the past several years, but this year the Celebration Board took a different approach in an attempt to reach the masses and it worked... Read More
  • Equine Obituary – She's Push In Command

    She’s Push in Command was humanly euthanized in the early hours of Saturday, October 6, 2019, due to a chronic stifle injury. Known as Harley (or Big Momma) to those who loved her, she was bred and raised by Johnnie and Harriet Abrams of Waco, Kentucky. Harley was purchased as a yearling in 2003 by CM, Connie, and Lindsay Hess of Harrisonburg, Virginia.  Read More
  • NCWHA TIP Show canceled

    The NCWHA TIP Show, scheduled for Saturday, November 9, in Dallas, North Carolina has been cancelled. Read More
  • Baileyton Fall Classic updates class schedule

    The Baileyton Fall Classic, scheduled for Oct. 12, has added the following classes to their schedule...

    Read More