MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has married a political consultant who worked for her, months after the two were accused of having an affair, which she denied.
A marriage license filed in Washington, D.C., shows Omar married political consultant Tim Mynett on Wednesday. Omar announced her new marriage Wednesday night on Instagram, with a photo of her and a bearded man smiling and displaying wedding rings. “Got married! From partners in politics to life partners, so blessed,” the post says, without identifying Mynett by name.
Filings with the Federal Election Commission show Omar’s campaign paid Tim Mynett or his firm nearly $600,000 since July 2018. Though it may raise eyebrows, family members, including spouses, can be on the campaign payroll as long as the family member provides services at a fair market value.
A relationship between Omar and Mynett was publicly alleged in August, when Mynett’s then-wife, Beth Mynett, filed for divorce and accused her husband and Omar of having an affair. In response, Tim Mynett filed his own court document denying his wife’s assertion that he had told her months earlier that he was in love with Omar and that he was ending his marriage to be with the congresswoman.
When Omar was asked at the time whether she was separated from her then-husband or dating someone, she told WCCO-TV, “No, I am not.” She has since declined to discuss her personal life.
In October, she filed for divorce from her husband and longtime partner Ahmed Hirsi, citing an “irretrievable breakdown” in the marriage. That divorce was finalized in November.
According to Beth Mynett’s August divorce filing, Tim Mynett is a founder of E Street Group and met Omar while working for her. His LinkedIn page says he is still a partner at the firm.
A message left with the company to confirm his employment and determine whether he is still working for Omar was not immediately returned. A spokesman for Omar also did not immediately return a message seeking to confirm whether Mynett still works for her.
According to the FEC filings, Omar’s congressional campaign paid Mynett or his firm for services including fundraising consulting, internet advertising, website development and digital communications. Several of the payments were also for travel expenses.
It’s not uncommon for congressional members to employ family members, including spouses, parents and children. The Federal Election Campaign Act prohibits using campaign funds for personal use. But payments to family members aren’t considered personal if the services provided are paid at fair market value.
A message left with the Office of Congressional Ethics was not immediately returned Thursday, and it’s not clear if it is investigating.