Asked for comment, a spokesperson for Bishop emailed a statement to CQ Roll Call from a House account labeled only PressInquiries, GA02: “Congressman Bishop is dedicated to honoring the principles and values of his office. Before the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) notified him of its review, he was made aware of mistakes made by his campaign and had already taken immediate action to bring it into compliance. Congressman Bishop has fully cooperated with the OCE’s review and proactively reimbursed many of the charges OCE identified as incorrect. He will continue to work with the Ethics Committee openly and transparently, and is prepared to take any further, necessary corrective action.”

The Office of Congressional Ethics determined Bishop — along with his wife, Vivian Creighton Bishop, and daughter — may have used campaign funds to pay for personal fuel charges. Vivian would routinely fill her vehicle using campaign funds and did not log her campaign mileage, the OCE found.

Since 2003, Bishop’s campaign committee has spent over $213,000 on gas including at Shell, BP, Chevron, Citgo and Exxon, FEC filings show.

Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga., reacts as the ball grazes the hole but does not go in during the First Tee Congressional Challenge golf tournament at the Columbia Country Club in Chevy Chase, Md., on July 27, 2015.

Golf outings

In 1999, Bishop became a member at Stonebridge Golf and Country Club in Albany, Georgia, where he held an annual golf fundraiser, “the Sanford Bishop Golf Classic,” at the club from 1998 through 2012, a legitimate campaign expense.

However, Bishop paid monthly billing statements from the club — from campaign coffers — that include membership dues, driving range fees, locker fees, guest greens fees, golf cart usage and golf supplies. From 2009 to 2019 Bishop’s campaign committee paid over $30,000 in campaign funds for membership dues, range fees among other expenditures.