A congressman who has been dogged by legal troubles surrounding his family has set up a legal expense trust to help defray legal fees.
Rep. John F. Tierney, D-Mass., who won re-election in 2012 by 1 percentage point, had his personal financial disclosure reports under investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics and the House Ethics Committee. The committee announced that it determined no action was necessary and closed the case on Sept. 11, 2013.
The announcement stated, “The Committee reviewed the allegations, conducted additional investigation as necessary, and unanimously concluded that the presently-available evidence was inconclusive as to whether the payments to Mrs. Tierney were income or gifts and does not warrant a finding that Representative Tierney intentionally mischaracterized the nature of the payments for financial or tax purposes.”
Tierney’s wife, Patrice, pleaded guilty in October 2010 to aiding and abetting the filing of false tax returns for Robert Eremian, her brother, who had been indicted on charges of illegal gambling and money laundering. Patrice’s other brother, Paul Eremian, was sentenced in 2012 to three years in prison for his role in the gambling operation.
View House Ethics Committee statement, report and press release.