Corruption rampant at the Department of Transportation since Secretary Elaine Chao’s confirmation three years ago
WASHINGTON – Today marks the third anniversary of the Senate confirmation of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and the past three years have been rife with corruption.
“Three years ago, Secretary Elaine Chao took an oath to serve the American people, but instead, she’s spent the last three years abusing her position at the Department of Transportation in order to enrich herself, her husband, and her family on the taxpayer’s dime,” said Lizzy Price, director of Restore Public Trust. “Chao has violated the trust of the American people and Congress must continue their investigations into her misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
Here are some of Chao’s most egregious ethics violations from her three years leading the Department of Transportation (DOT):
- Funneling Money to Kentucky: A series of reports over the last year revealed Elaine Chao’s unfair financial favoritism toward Kentucky, where her husband Mitch McConnell is running for re-election. Chao gave outsized time and grant funding to the state as transportation secretary, and now faces a probe from the DOT inspector general for her pattern of bias.
- Refusing to Divest Financial Assets: The House Oversight Committee is investigating Chao for breaking her promise to divest from Vulcan Materials, a road-building materials company, when she became transportation secretary — a clear conflict of interest.
- Bolstering Her Family’s Company: The House Oversight Committee is also examining Chao’s use of her office – and taxpayer dollars – to potentially enrich herself and her family by actions taken to support her family’s shipping company, the Foremost Group.
- Stalling Crucial Repairs to Gateway: As transportation secretary, Chao has stalled critical repairs to the Gateway tunnel, a crucial piece of 100-year-old infrastructure running up the Eastern Seaboard that carries 200,000 passengers daily. While hindering progress on this project without valid explanation, she has poured money into projects in Kentucky.