Gayle Manchin, the federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and wife of Senator Joe Manchin, is facing allegations of an ethics violation. According to emails obtained by Fox News Digital, Manchin may have violated her ethics pledge by advising an organization with ties to her husband’s campaign despite pledging to recuse herself from matters where she had a financial interest.
Manchin is accused of advising Coalfield Development, a nonprofit organization, in October 2021 on a $62.8 million grant from the American Rescue Plan. This ultimately led to an organization headed by her husband’s campaign committee and leadership PAC’s treasurer receiving millions of dollars from the grant. Manchin had pledged to recuse herself from such advisement boards to avoid any actual or apparent conflicts of interest.
The ARC has denied any financial ties between Manchin and Coalfield Development or the ACT Now Coalition. The coalition was one of 21 recipients competing for $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding, and the Charleston Area Alliance, headed by Manchin’s treasurer, received $13 million from the $63 million granted to the coalition.
Manchin is paid upwards of $160,000 annually for her position at the ARC, which is an economic development partnership agency of the federal government and 13 state governments. The ARC has invested more than $4.5 billion in the Appalachian Region.