Schultz told The Associated Press on Thursday he was unfamiliar with a law that says state officials generally cannot hire their relatives when he offered the internship to his brother, Andrew.
After the AP questioned the job last month, Schultz said he discovered that it was not allowed. He said he contacted the attorney general’s office immediately and paid back $4,908, the amount of wages and payroll taxes the state spent on his brother.
Matt Schultz said Andrew Schultz earned $10-per-hour answering phones, making copies and performing other clerical work in his Capitol office during the Legislative session.
Considering I’ve seen family members work as clerks for different state legislators I can absolutely believe Schultz was not aware of the law. I’m not saying those legislators are in violation of the law (I’m not familiar with the law), but one could assume the same standard applies to the executive branch when dealing with internships. Compared to other infractions some elected officials have been accused of it seems pretty minor. Regardless, when he found out about his violation of the law he contacted the attorney general’s office immediately and paid it back. No excuses. No cover ups. He made it right. How you respond after making a mistake speaks volumes about your character.
I’m sure there are a number of detractors who would like to make hay out of this, but he did the right thing by paying the money back. That’s integrity, and that’s the kind of integrity we should expect out of elected officials.