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NY Rep. Carolyn Maloney Is Being Investigated For Alleged Solicitation Of Met Gala Tickets

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Nov. 22 2022, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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Fashion faux pas alert! New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney is finding out the true cost of a Met Gala invite. The congresswoman for New York's 12th District is being probed by ethics investigators for potentially violating the House of Representatives rules and federal law after she allegedly solicited tickets to the famed fashion gala in 2016, RadarOnline.com has learned.

From 2003 to 2011, Maloney secured $2.75 million in federal funding for the museum — and in March 2020, the rep led a city delegation that requested $4 billion in federal funds for the Met and other museums to combat COVID-19 financial losses.

Maloney, 76, has been accused of using her political sway and office to garner 2016 Met Gala tickets — and investigators allegedly have the receipts that support their claim.

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Maloney reportedly reached out to former Met Museum president, Emily Rafferty, in an attempt to acquire the highly sought-after invite to fashion's biggest night.

According to the OCE report, an email from April 2, 2016, revealed Rafferty's attempt to pursue the museum's executives into sending tickets Maloney's way.

Rafferty's email stated how Maloney was "unhappy to say the least that she is not receiving an invitation to the Party of the Year." She continued by noting the many ways Maloney had benefited the art museum — as well as her political influence.

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"She went on about how much she does for the Met," Rafferty wrote in the email. "Always responsive when you call and proactive re the institution’s concerns in DC."

Rafferty revved up her plea through sympathetic wording.

"She has been coming to the party for years and it is the one thing she cares about …," the email continued. "For what it is worth, I highly recommend you include Carolyn, [then-New York City Comptroller] Scott Stringer and his wife in your 80 allotted spaces."

The email conflicts with the House of Representative rules, which allows representatives to attend charitable events for free — but only if the invitation is unsolicited. Furthering investigators' concerns, a 2018 email showed that Maloney's tactics worked in her favor two years before.

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Tom Schuler, the Met's former chief government relations officer, stated in a 2018 email that "we have ultimately secured one seat for her each year."

Nonetheless, the attraction of the Met Gala stayed at top of mind for Maloney. The OCE report also included a more recent email from the rep, which pondered an invitation to the event once more.

"Did we hear from the Met on the Met Ball? Am I invited this year??" Maloney wrote in a 2020 email to a staffer.

When the employee informed Maloney she had not received an invite, but a meeting with Schuler was being arranged, the politician replied, "How do I call him?"

The OCE report concluded that based on its findings, the investigators had "substantial reason to believe that Rep. Maloney may have solicited or accepted impermissible gifts associated with her attendance at the Met Gala."

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