- Last Friday, writer/reporter Luke Thompson took to Twitter with a screenshot revealing that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s boyfriend Riley Roberts had been given his own House (.gov) email address and was listed as “Staff.”
- It has since been discovered that during the course of AOC’s campaign, Roberts had also been hired and paid as a marketing consultant for a PAC founded by her Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti.
- Though it’s uncertain whether or not Roberts’ contributions to the PAC had direct connection to the campaign, questions have arisen surrounding the legality of their arrangement.
Cortez tried to dismiss Thompson’s reporting that her boyfriend Riley Roberts had been placed on her staff and was “drawing a salary on the taxpayer’s dime,” claiming that he was provided the email account in order to access her Google calendar.
Looking further into AOC’s financial relationships, Thompson found that Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti founded a PAC called Brand New Congress in early 2017. That PAC runs parallel to Brand New Congress LLC (one of the PAC’s support companies), currently owned and operated by Chakrabarti.
Although she raised less than $9,000 throughout the course of her campaign, AOC paid Brand New Congress LLC more than $18,000 for “strategic consulting.” Meanwhile, Roberts was being paid by the ‘parallel’ PAC as a marketing consultant.
Questions are being raised about the timing, amount and listed residence(s) for Roberts’ disbursements and subsequently, whether or not AOC’s arrangements with her Chief of Staff and boyfriend are ethical.