Congressman's son 'forgot' about some payments to girlfriend
Western Maryland Del. Joseph Bartlett told the Frederick News-Post he had "forgotten" that he charged taxpayers for a 21-day stay in 2007 in the Annapolis home of his now girlfriend.
Bartlett, the son of U.S. Congressman Roscoe Bartlett, has draw criticism for using public money to pay his girlfriend rent during the 2008, 2009 and 2010 legislative sessions. But public documents released Wednesday show the living arrangement began earlier.
"Delegate Joseph R. Bartlett was an occupant at my residence on the nights of October 29 to November 3rd during the Special Session," wrote Katharine Hopkins in a 2007 letter to the legislative accounting office. "I respectfully request payments for 6 nights at $123 per night."
The state wrote Hopkins a check for $738. In total, the state has paid Bartlett's girlfriend $31,923 for rent. Senators and delegates are allowed to charge the state for rent or hotels when the General Assembly is in session. Many stay in local hotels.
Bartlett, a Republican, has said he started dating Hopkins in Spring 2008 and has said he sought permission from a state ethics attorney to continue his rental arrangement with Hopkins after the romance began. Bartlett has not returned numerous calls for comment. Hopkins also has not returned calls.
Documents released Wednesday show the state also paid Hopkins $11,193 for 91 days rent in 2008; $9,072 for 72 days rent in 2009 (Bartlett stayed in a hotel other nights) and $10,920 for 91 days in 2010.