HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Rep. Gregory Meeks has paid company owned by aide's wife nearly $200G from campaign funds

Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) has paid a company that is owned by his chief of staff's wife nearly $200,000 from his campaign funds, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Meeks, who was first elected to Congress in 1998, has employed Robert Simmons out of his Jamaica, New York City, office since 2003. Simmons began working with Meeks as a part-time aide before becoming his New York chief of staff in 2008, according to Legistorm.

Patsy Simmons, Robert's wife, also works for Rep. Meeks. Patsy is listed as the treasurer of Friends for Gregory Meeks, the congressman's campaign committee.

Patsy is not paid directly from Meeks' committee to act as its treasurer, which is typically an unpaid position. Payments are instead made to Einna, Inc., a company that was registered by Patsy in November 2008, according to New York business records. The payment scheme, which was first reported by the New York Post in 2010, has proven to be lucrative for his top aide's wife.

Rep. Meeks's political action committee, the Build America PAC, has also disbursed tens of thousands to Patsy's company over the span of nine years on top of what the campaign has paid during this time.

Einna first appeared on Meeks' campaign payroll in 2008—just two years after Simmons had become Meeks's New York chief of staff. The company was paid $66,300 from Meeks's campaign committee between 2008 and 2012.

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