Ethics organization files complaint against Rep. Matt Cartwright

September 27, 2019

Mark Schremmer


A nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics and transparency in government recently filed a complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics regarding Rep. Matt Cartwright’s introduction of a bill that could benefit his family’s law firm.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to “immediately investigate Rep. Cartwright for taking official action in violation of House ethics rules.”

In July, Cartwright, D-Pa., introduced the INSURANCE Act, or HR3781, that would raise the federal minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4.923 million. The bill would also require the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to adjust the rate every five years to take into account in inflation costs related to medical care.

“Rep. Cartwright has a financial interest in a law firm that specializes in ‘big truck litigation’ and advertises itself as ‘the nation’s leading truck and accident team,’” FACT wrote in the complaint signed by its executive director, Kendra Arnold. “Cartwright was previously an attorney with Munley Law, where his wife is currently a partner and specializes in ‘commercial truck accident-related injury lawsuits.’”

Earlier this month, the Washington Examiner reported that the bill could benefit Rep. Cartwright’s family law firm.

“Rep. Matt Cartwright has spent years sponsoring truck insurance legislation that would directly benefit his family’s law firm, in which he owns a multimillion dollar sake, according to financial and lobbying records reviewed by the Washington Examiner,” the article stated.

In 2013, just months after Cartwright took office, he introduced a similar bill to raise the minimum liability insurance requirements to $4.2 million. The October 2013 issue of Land Line Magazine includes an article from Managing Editor Jami Jones detailing his connection to the Munley, Munley & Cartwright law firm in Pennsylvania.

“In this case, Rep. Cartwright has a clear conflict of interest,” FACT wrote. “This is not a case where Cartwright simply voted on legislation but is a case where he used his official position to sponsor legislation.

“Not only does Cartwright have a financial interest that would be directly affected by his sponsored legislation, but it is a unique and specific interest in a law firm specializing in the type of litigation that would be impacted … We urge the committee to immediately investigate Rep. Cartwright and impose any required penalties.”

Rep. Matt Cartwright
Rep. Matt Cartwright
Lucas Oil

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.