House ethics to continue probe of Indiana lawmaker

FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014, file photo, U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind. speaks in Washington. (AP File Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
FILE - In this Sept. 26, 2014, file photo, U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind. speaks in Washington. (AP File Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Ethics panel is continuing an official investigation into Indiana Republican Rep. Marlin Stutzman.

The panel made the announcement Tuesday when it issued a report from the separate and independent Office of Congressional Ethics. The August report says there is “substantial reason to believe” that Stutzman used campaign funds to pay for a personal family trip to California.

Stutzman is leaving the House after losing a GOP primary to replace retiring GOP Sen. Dan Coats.

Stutzman came under criticism during the primary after The Associated Press reported he billed his campaign more than $2,000 in airfare for a family trip to the Ronald Reagan library in California, an apparent violation of federal election laws.

Attorneys for Stutzman say he did not violate campaign laws and called the investigation biased.