Rep. Carolyn Maloney Is Being Looked Into Because She Asked For An Invite To The Met Gala

The Ethics Committee of the House of Representatives stated on Monday that outgoing Upper East Side Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is being investigated by ethics investigators for possibly breaking House of Representatives’ regulations and federal law by obtaining tickets to the Met Gala in 2016.

According to a damning report from the Office of Congressional Ethics, the 76-year-old Maloney called former museum president Emily Rafferty in March 2016 to beg a ticket to that year’s edition of the star-studded event after she was left off the guest list. Her three-decade run in Congress was ended by fellow Rep. Jerry Nadler in a nasty August primary caused by redistricting.

In an email sent to Met executives on April 2, 2016, Rafferty wrote that Maloney was “unhappy to say the least that she is not receiving an invitation to the Party of the Year,” according to the OCE investigation.

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She talked about how much work she does for the Met, how she is always available when you call, and proactive about the organization’s issues in Washington, D.C., Rafferty wrote. She has been attending the party for years and considers it her only passion. For what it’s worth, I strongly urge you to fill all 80 of the seats with Carolyn, [then-New York City Comptroller] Scott Stringer, and his wife.

House rules do not prohibit attending a charitable event for free if you receive an uninvited invitation, but they do prohibit asking for free tickets. Maloney’s temper outburst apparently secured her a permanent seat on the guest list, according to an email from Tom Schuler in 2018, the former chief government relations officer for the museum.

According to Schuler, “We have ultimately managed to get one spot for her each year.” The OCE investigation further stated that the legislator frequently thought about the gala in subsequent years.

Did the Met have anything to say about the Met Ball? Are you inviting me this year? a staff member in a message from Maloney in February 2020. Maloney asks, “How do I call him,” to the staff member’s statement that she has not yet received an invitation to the glamorous showcase and that a meeting with Schuler was being organised to try to get one. Due to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic that year, the event was finally canceled.

There was “substantial grounds to think that Rep. Maloney may have sought or accepted impermissible gifts linked with her attendance at the Met Gala,” according to the OCE report’s conclusion.

The OCE submitted the subject to the House Ethics Committee in June of this year, and the committee agreed last month to prolong its inquiry, according to a statement released on Monday.

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The panel stated that the committee “states that the mere fact of undertaking a further examination of a referral, and any necessary disclosure of such further review, does not in and of itself suggest that any violation has occurred, or represent any judgment on behalf of the Committee.” The glitzy Met Gala is a yearly benefit for the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The event’s tickets cost $35,000 each, and according to Vogue, each of the more than 500 invitees has been individually approved by Anna Wintour, the magazine’s veteran editor-in-chief.

According to the OCE, Maloney obtained $2.75 million in federal money for the Met between 2003 and 2011. She led a city delegation in March 2020 that asked for $4 billion in government funding for the Met and other institutions to cover pandemic losses.

Maloney’s lawyers claimed in a statement that she “was appropriate and complied with all applicable House gift rules, laws, and regulations” by attending the Met Gala. Chairwoman Maloney did not illegally obtain an invitation for these parties, either.

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