A few issues arise in the case of a Pennsylvania state senator who
reached a settlement this week with the state's ethics commission
that included a fine of $21,000, according to an
article in yesterday's Montgomery County Times Herald
Pennsylvania state senators are paid for the rental of their district offices.
This senator's wife (and then the senator himself after their
divorce) owned 50% of the company that owned the building where he had his district office, until the
company was sold in 2008.
At first blush, it might not seem a problem for an official to rent
an office from himself, as long as he is paying the going rate. But
what is the going rate? And might the space not have been rented at
all if the official didn't rent it to himself? Since these questions
are hard to answer, it is best that an official not rent to himself.