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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alan Grayson delays financial disclosure filing

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando

AP

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando

The world will have to wait a little longer to find out how much money Congressman Alan Grayson made in 2015.

That is because the Orlando Democrat this month asked for, and received, an extension that will delay him from having to report his financial holdings and any income he made last year.

Members of Congress must file annual financial disclosure reports by mid-May each year. However, the Committee on Ethics allows them to file for an extension for 30 days, 60 days or 90 days without offering any reason. Grayson's request for 90 days was granted earlier this month according to the House Committee on Ethics. That allows him to wait until Aug. 14 to file his annual report.

"The reason is that his financial disclosure is lengthy, so additional time is required,” said David Damron, a spokesman for Grayson's campaign.

Grayson's extension comes after his handwritten 2014 report was flagged by the Office of Congressional Ethics earlier this year for having "omitted required information from his annual financial disclosure statements related to reportable assets, income, agreements, and positions.” That report was 36-pages.

The OCE report came as part of a larger inquiry into Grayson’s management of a hedge fund and other business interests that may have improperly overlapped with his congressional duties. The OCE has forwarded their findings on to the House Committee on Ethics, which announced in April it is reviewing the referral.

In his 2014 report, Grayson, an attorney, reported that he has a net worth is between $13 million and $105 million. Roll Call has estimated his net worth to be $33.9 million, ranking him as the 12th wealthiest member of Congress.

The extension will allow Grayson to delay reporting his finances until after voting begins in the August Democratic Primary for the U.S. Senate against U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter. The election is Aug. 30, but absentee ballots begin going out 30 days before the election.

Murphy's campaign said Grayson is either hiding his assets from voters or "needs extra time to fudge the numbers of his money-making schemes."

"Rep. Grayson has yet to amend any of his old financial disclosures, even though ethics investigators did the work of identifying 'numerous omissions' for him, and now he’s delaying his current disclosure to the last possible minute," said Galia Slayen, a spokeswoman for the Murphy campaign said. "Until Rep. Grayson releases his financial disclosures, he is robbing Florida voters of the opportunity to know the truth about the shady money he’s using to fund his campaign.”

Despite Slayen's criticism, congressional records do show Grayson has twice amended his financial disclosures. Grayson filed amendments for his 2014 disclosure in September and again in October, according to records published by the House Clerk's Office.

Ironically, Murphy himself has filed for extensions in previous years. Last year, Murphy was granted a 90 day extension to file his financial disclosures. He also received one in 2013 to delay reporting his 2012 financial holdings.

Damron said Murphy cannot be taken seriously on the issue and pointed out Murphy is being questioned about how much of a role he really played in trying to clean up oil in the Gulf of Mexico as he has claimed in the past.

"In this case, his campaign is lying again," Damron said. 

For each of the last four years, Grayson has requested and been given an extension for his annual financial report.

“Rep. Grayson has taken similar extensions previously," Damron said.

Grayson is hardly alone in seeking a extension for his report. Seven of Florida's 27 House members have requested and received similar 90 day extensions, including U.S. Rep. David Jolly, the Pinellas County Republican who is among 5 candidates running in the GOP primary for the same U.S. Senate seat that Murphy and Grayson are fighting for. Besides Grayson and Jolly, U.S. Reps. Carlos Curbelo, R-Miami; Gwen Graham, D-Tallahassee; Tom Rooney, R-Okeechobee; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston; and Frederica Wilson, D-Miami Gardens.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 26, 2016 11:11am]

    

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