Rep. Cartwright amends financial statements after complaints

October 22, 2019

Mark Schremmer

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Following a pair of ethics complaints, Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., amended two years of financial disclosure statements to show his wife earned income from a law firm that touts itself as a “leader in trucking litigation.”

On Oct. 10, Rep. Cartwright amended his financial disclosure statements, indicating that his wife, Marion Munley, earned a salary at Munley Law in 2017 and 2018. Cartwright’s wife’s occupation is of particular importance as the congressman introduced a bill, HR3781, that would raise the federal minimum insurance requirement for motor carriers from $750,000 to $4.923 million.

Ethics complaints

In response to the bill, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) raised concerns with the Office of Congressional Ethics.

On Sept. 23, the nonprofit organization asked for Cartwright to be investigated “for taking official action in violation of House ethics rules.”

In a second letter on Oct. 8, FACT alleged that Cartwright failed to disclose his wife’s income.

“For two consecutive years, in apparent direct violation of the Ethics in Government Act and its implementing regulations, Rep. Cartwright’s annual public financial disclosure failed to disclose his wife’s income from Munley Law PC, where she continues to work as a partner specializing in commercial truck accident cases,” FACT wrote.

The Ethics in Government Act and the House Committee on Ethics’ instructions for public financial disclosure reports says members of Congress must disclose the source and type, but not the amount, of their spouse’s income that totaled $1,000 or more from a single source.

“In spite of this requirement, Rep. Cartwright failed to disclose his spouse’s income from Munley Law PC on his 2017 and 2018 public financial reports,” FACT wrote.

The organization said Cartwright disclosed that his wife made income from Munley Law during the previous five years. FACT informed the Office of Congressional Ethics that “public information clearly demonstrates” that Marion Munley continues to work as a partner at Munley Law and did so during 2017 and 2018. According to FACT, Marion Munley won a $26 million settlement in a truck crash case in 2018.

Conflict of interest?

In September, the Washington Examiner reported that the minimum insurance 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 stake, 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 Law.

Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, associate 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 nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.