(PatriotWise.com) — Last year, Georgia Senator Raphael Warnock reportedly employed a dubious accounting loophole to take it more than the permitted outside income Senators are allowed, the Washington Free Beacon reported.
Based on Warnock’s latest financial disclosure, the senator made $155,000 in 2022 as a part-time pastor at Atlanta’s Ebenezer Baptist Church. That amount exceeds the $30,000 limit for outside income that US senators are allowed.
However, Warnock claimed that only $30,000 of that money was from 2022, while the bulk of it, $125,000, was “deferred compensation” for services rendered before taking office in January 2021.
But according to the Free Beacon, the “deferred compensation” appears to be a fabrication.
Experts told the Free Beacon that if the church owed Warnock $125,000 in unpaid wages from before he took office, the senator should have reported that income as an asset in his 2021 financial disclosure. But his 2021 disclosure made no mention of such an arrangement.
What’s more, according to the Free Beacon, according to the church’s audited financial statements for 2020 and 2021, there is no reference to any “deferred compensation” arrangement for either Warnock or any other employee of the church.
Kendra Arnold of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust told the Free Beacon that the lack of any prior mention of this supposed “deferred compensation” not only shows that Warnock may have exceeded the outside income limit in 2022, but it also creates a legal issue if Warnock included false or inaccurate information in his 2022 financial disclosure by claiming that the income was “deferred compensation” when it was not.
Based on his 2022 financial disclosure, Warnock’s Senate salary amounted to less than one-fifth of his total income, with the bulk of his income, $656,000, coming from book royalties, for which senators have no earning limit. In addition to the $155,000 from Ebenezer Baptist Church, Warnock also earned $11,500 in speaking fees, which he donated to unspecified charities.
Pete McGinnis of the Functional Government Initiative told the Free Beacon that while it is unclear if the deferred compensation was income Warnock earned before taking office, “it certainly deserves investigation.”
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