AOC: Staff Botched Met Gala Ticket Payments

( – After the House Office of Congressional Ethics opened an investigation into Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s appearance at the Met Gala in 2021, the Democratic Representative from New York blamed the problems on her staff.

Ocasio-Cortez told investigators she did not know that her staff had accepted gifts—possibly in the form of free services and goods—related to her widely publicized appearance at the fashion and celebrity event in 2021.

Ocasio-Cortez wore a white evening gown with bright red writing that read “Tax the rich” on the reverse. The congresswoman posed for photographs with her backside facing the camera while she looked over her shoulder. The message in red ink was most prominent on the seat portion of the dress.

The Ethics office is investigating whether she accepted services and goods related to the dress and her attendance at the event that she should have paid for. Elected officials must obey rules designed to prevent them from being influenced by parties that may use lavish gifts to influence a relationship with lawmakers.

Ocasio-Cortez said she did not know about the alleged unpaid expenses, and that she would never have participated in such activity had she known. She wasn’t “privy to the invoices,” Ocasio-Cortez said, laying the blame on staff.

She called the investigation a “deeply regrettable situation” and expressed sorrow for the “small businesses impacted.”

The staff member in question did take the blame for the oversight. The staffer, whose name has not been disclosed, reportedly told investigators she was to blame for the unpaid expenses. She did not “have access to” Ocasio-Cortez’s personal credit card, the staffer said.

The ethics rules of the U.S. House state that neither elected representatives nor staff of the House may accept substantial gifts. The term “gift” is defined to include discounts, gratuities, favors, entertainment, loans, cash payments, or “any other item having monetary value.”

Ocasio-Cortez is accused of accepting free services related to wardrobe, hair, makeup, and transportation.

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