WASHINGTON — A bipartisan advisory panel has recommended that the House Ethics Committee dismiss its review of third district Congresswoman Cindy Axne’s stock trades.
Last year a watchdog group called the Campaign Legal Center accused seven House members — including Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines — of failing to report stock trades. The purchases and sales of stock were related to retirement accounts for Axne and her husband as well as 529 investment accounts for their children’s college expenses.
Axne says she and her husband left the investment decisions to account managers and didn’t “execute or direct” any stock trades themselves and Axne didn’t realize she was to file public reports about any account activity.
After the watchdog group’s accusation, Axne hired a lawyer to review the accounts and submit her financial disclosure reports. The bipartisan board that reviews ethics complaints has unanimously voted to recommend that all allegations against Axne be dismissed.
The Office of Congressional Ethics is an independent board that’s primarily made up of former members of congress. The board reviews allegations of misconduct and refers complaints to the House Ethics Committee. Axne says the group has asked her how the reporting system can be updated “so that good actors don’t get tripped up and bad actors can’t skate by” and she’s working with other members of congress to develop new guidelines for stock trade reporting.