Rep. Alan Mollohan
Under fire for possible ethics violations, former ranking minority member of the House ethics committee Congressman Alan Mollohan shot back at critics by releasing documents explaining his significant personal wealth gain.
Mollohan, a West Virginia Democrat, is the target of a federal investigation into allegations that he lied on financial disclosure reports and steered approximately $250 million in pork funds to non-profit groups. Several organizations with ties to Mollohan have been subpoenaed by the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia.
According to an Associated Press report, the congressman's accountant issued a statement that Mollohan's real estate holdings explain the leap in his personal wealth.
Mollohan, his wife and another couple are shareholders in a limited liability corporation that owns rental units in Washington D.C. The value of Remington LLC has "greatly increased with skyrocketing real estate values," according to the AP report.
In April the National Legal and Policy Center issued a 500-page report alleging Mollohan made more than 250 misrepresentations and omissions in financial disclosure reports submitted to the U.S. House Clerk's office.
"The documents prove that the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) has wildly exaggerated the inadvertent errors on my past financial disclosure statements," Mollohan said in a release. "They also show that NLPC is dead wrong in implying that I have improperly benefited from my office."
Mollohan is a 12-term representative.
This week Mollohan reportedly corrected or amended 19 items dating back to 2000, which he described as a "relative handfulf or unintentional and immaterial mistakes," the AP reported.
Mollohan released his 2005 report which showed his assets increasing by at least $1.6 million from the previous year to a minimum of $7.9 million.
According to the AP, Mollohan's non-congressional income rose by at least $113,801 to a minimum of $331,012. Those increases are explained by his real estate holdings in Canaan Valley and North Carolina.
Chairman of NLPC Ken Boehm expressed doubt that Mollohan's real estate gains could explain a $6.1 million gain between 2000 and 2004.
He said Mollohan's explanation was a ""quasi-validation" of the allegations.
"These are not isolated, inadvertent mistakes," Boehm told the AP. "He has not begun to address all of the problems."