Mollohan is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and three of its 12 subcommittees.
He is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies. He is a member of the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Related Agencies, and the Subcommittee on Homeland Security.
The Justice Department told the House ethics panel to halt its probe of Rep. Mollohan while it undergoes its own investigation. Federal investigators began reviewing Mollohan's personal finances early in 2006 after complaints from the National Legal and Policy Center that he was not fully revealing his real estate holdings. For several years, there was no public action on the complaints, but the department requested the Ethics Committee investigation halt in early July. Federal investigators often ask that the House and Senate ethics panels refrain from taking action against members whom the department is already investigating.
The U.S. Department of Justice has been investigating Mollohan since 2006 for not reporting his income and misusing his position on the House Appropriations Committee by funneling millions of dollars of earmarks to friends and associates.
Since entering his congressional position in 1983, Mollohan's assets grew from a $17,474 law firm salary before becoming a representative up to $24 million, at times. He is one of several congressmen who have grown wealthy while in office through the buying and selling of real estate.
In the 1990s, after he became a member of the House Appropriations Committee, he set up a network of nonprofit organizations in his district to help administer more than $150 million of federal funding that was secured for research ventures and preservation efforts.
At this time, Mollohan, the head of one of those nonprofit groups and the owner of a local company that received substantial federal aid partnered in real estate ventures. Mollohan bought $2 million worth of property on Bald Head Island, North Carolina with a former staffer and friend who ran one of the nonprofits.
Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, spent nine months researching the transactions. In 2006 he handed his findings to the FBI, which he said launched an investigation into the matter.
Mollohan defended the transactions.
Five West Virginia non-profits that the congressman created, Vandalia, MountainMade, the Institute for Scientific Research, the West Virginia High Technology Consortium, and the Canaan Valley Institute, have received significant funds since Mollohan has served in the House Appropriations Committee.M
"Mollohan has earmarked tens of millions of dollars to groups associated with his own business partners. That immediately raises the question whether these funds were allocated to promote the public good or to promote his interests and the interests of his partners," said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group. "He also got very rich very quick, and that suggests a relationship that is suspect if not corrupt."
- Mollohan U.S. House of Representatives website
- Mollohan on Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington website
- Full report by CREW
- Dozens in Congress under ethics inquiry, Washington Post, October 30, 2009
- Controversial Earmarks Plague Mollohan, West Virginia Watchdog, November 9, 2009
- West Virginia Democrat is Scrutinized, Washington Post, May 15, 2006