The head of the Government's Ethics Office refused to approve Secretary of Commerce's 2018 financial disclosure report, Wilbur Ross, alleging an inaccuracy in the assets of the former tycoon in BankUnited's shares.
The action is the latest blow to Ross, who has repeatedly drawn attention to his personal finances since his appointment to the Commerce position. He will testify next month before a committee of the House.
History continues below
"OGE refuses to certify Secretary Ross's 2018 financial disclosure report because this report was not accurate and it was not in accordance with his agreement on ethics at the time of the release of the report. Said Emory Rounds, the director of OGE, in a letter of 15 February. .
In a report dated October 31, 2018, Ross stated that he "mistakenly believed" that an order to sell BankUnited's assets had been executed in 2017. This error was contained in a complaint to the US Treasury Department. Campaign by the Legal Legal Center. The Inspector General said that if the false deposit had been made knowingly, this would constitute a violation of the law.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ross said he held 100 BankUnited shares totaling about $ 3,700, "an amount that the federal regulation considers to be de minimis and below the threshold of a possible conflict of interest".
"While I am disappointed that my report has not been certified, I remain committed to upholding my ethics agreement and following the direction of business ethics officials," Ross said.
On Tuesday, the legal center of the campaign applauded the action of OGE.
"This confirms what we have been saying for a while and shows that OGE is also concerned about Secretary Ross' commitment to preserving public confidence in the government," said Delaney Marsco, legal counsel at CLC.
Last year, congressional Democrats asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the potential insider trading crimes committed by the Cabinet Secretary. He is scheduled to appear before the House Oversight Committee on March 14.