The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee is moving ahead with an investigation into whether Rep. Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign paid a state senator for campaign work.
Two former Bachmann campaign staffers say the congresswoman's presidential campaign set up an arrangement to pay Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson $7,500 a month to chair Bachmann's Iowa presidential campaign.
Sorenson denied having accepted money directly or indirectly from the Bachmann campaign and he presented the ethics committee with documents to back up his claim. Among them is a sworn statement from an attorney who reviewed Sorenson's bank account and found no evidence of payments.
Ethics Committee Chairman Senator Wally Horn said the committee voted to ask the chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court to appoint an investigator to sort out the claims.
"I think it's going to take weeks or months," Horn said. "I don't know how long it's going to take an investigator to do this."
If it's determined Sorenson did take money for his work with the Bachmann campaign, it could be a violation of Iowa Senate ethics rules.
Sorenson's contention contradicts Bachmann's former chief of staff and presidential campaign advisor. Andy Parrish earlier provided the ethics committee with an affidavit saying that Sorenson sought and received payment for his work with the Bachmann campaign.