The move, which was expected, follows Currie’s Nov. 8 acquittal in federal court on charges that, under the guise of a consulting relationship, he used his office to do favors for Shoppers Food Warehouse.
Miller noted that Currie was “found not guilty of any crimes” but said issues were raised that fall under the jurisdiction of the ethics committee.
“Specifically, the allegations involve failure to complete the required financial disclosures and allegations of a conflict of interest regarding a consultation agreement with a private company,” Miller said in a letter to the two chairmen of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics.
After reviewing the case, the committee can recommend sanctions ranging up to censure or expulsion.
Currie could not be immediately reached for comment Monday.
Miller said long before Currie’s trial began that he would defer any consideration of the matter by the ethics committee until the legal process played out.
During a trial in U.S. District Court that spanned more than six weeks, Currie’s lawyer acknowledged an “undisclosed conflict of interest” but argued that the 74-year-old lawmaker had not committed the crimes that prosecutors alleged. The charges against Currie, the former chairman of the Budget and Taxation Committee, included bribery, extortion, conspiracy and making false statements to the FBI.
Currie did not disclose his relationship with Shoppers on state ethics forms for more than five years. His lawyers argued that he was not trying to hide anything, pointing to the fact that Currie reported the $245,000 in income on federal tax returns.
Proceedings of the ethics committee are generally considered confidential unless the legislator involved seeks to make them public. The committee may also waive confidentiality by a three-fourths vote.