In a storyline straight out of Gossip Girl, the outgoing congresswoman is under investigation for allegedly demanding access to the famed event.
Being a New York City politico certainly comes with a few perks, but violating the code of conduct will land you in hot water. Such is the case for Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who has found herself in the midst of an ethical dispute within the House of Representatives. On Monday, the Board of the Office of Congressional Ethics announced they were reviewing allegations that Maloney “may have solicited or accepted impermissible gifts associated with her attendance at the Met Gala,” in turn “violating House rules and federal law.”
The 15-page document outlines the scenario, which began back in March 2016 with a phone call to former Metropolitan Museum of Art President Emily Rafferty. Maloney reportedly lamented being passed over for the Gala’s guest list — resulting in an email from Rafferty to Met board members suggesting they reconsider. Perhaps given Maloney’s history of securing funds for the beloved UES destination, the request was a success. In fact, the congresswoman has been a staple at the event ever since, smiling in paparazzi pictures clad in a series of over-the-top ensembles. Tom Schuler, the museum’s former chief government relations officer, even proclaimed they had “ultimately secured one seat for her each year” back in 2018.
The annual fundraising event, which routinely raises big bucks for the museum’s Anna Wintour Costume Center, is known as the year’s hottest red carpet. Immortalized in the 2016 documentary The First Monday in May, it’s actually quite common to see a politician rubbing elbows with the likes of Kim Kardashian and Rihanna. But here’s the thing: It’s perfectly fine to attend an event for free, if invited through proper channels — but it’s not within the legal limits to ask (or beg) for a ticket.
Despite Maloney’s 30-year stint in Congress being a wrap due to the recent August primary, the Board has every intention of seeing this case through — concluding that “there is substantial reason to believe” her tickets were obtained improperly. Maloney’s attorneys dismissed the hoopla, claiming her attendance “was appropriate and complied with all applicable House gift rules, laws, and regulations.”
Though the outcome remains to be seen, attending the party of the year may apparently result in far more serious gripes than a hangover.