Democratic Lawmaker Maxes Out Congressional Salary for Girlfriend

Alcee Hastings' girlfriend has collected $2.2 million from the taxpayer since 2000

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.) / AP
March 29, 2016

A Democratic lawmaker is paying his longtime girlfriend the maximum congressional staffer salary of $168,411, and she has collected more than $2.2 million working for him since 2000.

Rep. Alcee Hastings (D., Fla.) has employed his girlfriend, Patricia Williams, for more than 20 years.

Williams began working for Hastings as a staff assistant in 1993 and held this position until 2006. She became his deputy district director in 2006 and currently works out of his district office in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Williams has been compensated handsomely for her work with Hastings, according to publicly-available information about congressional salaries on LegiStorm.

The database, which goes back to Oct. 1, 2000, shows that Williams was paid $21,250 for a partial year of work in 2000. Williams collected a $98,807 salary in 2001. Her salary shot above the six-figure mark to $121,307 in 2002 and gradually increased every year she served as a staff assistant to Hastings.

She was pulling in a salary of $128,975 by 2005. Williams made $626,003 while in the staff assistant role between 2000 and 2005.

Williams became Hastings’ deputy district director in 2006, a position based out of his Florida congressional district. This promotion coincided with another generous spike in salary, to $143,314 per year.

Williams received a steady stream of pay increases as deputy district director until she hit $168,411 in 2012—an amount higher than what Hastings paid his chief of staff. The sum is also the maximum salary permitted for a congressional staffer who does not work on a committee.

From 2006 to 2015, Williams collected $1,605,532 as a deputy field director, bringing her total compensation to over $2.2 million since 2000.

Williams worked for Hastings for seven years prior to 2000. Her salary for those years is not known.

The relationship between Hastings and Williams dates back to at least the early 1980s when Hastings worked as a judge in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Hastings was charged in 1981 with "conspiracy and obstruction of justice for soliciting a $150,000 bribe in return for reducing the sentences of two mob-connected felons convicted in Hastings’ court."

William A. Borders, a Washington, D.C. lawyer indicted with Hastings, was convicted in 1982 after an FBI sting.

One year later, Hastings was acquitted in a criminal court despite the conviction of Borders. Patricia Williams worked as Hastings’ co-counsel during the trial.

After the acquittal, a probe discovered that Hastings had committed perjury, tampered with evidence, and conspired to accept bribes.

On Aug. 3, 1988, the House of Representatives voted 413 to 3 in approving 17 articles of impeachment against Hastings, the highest number of articles of impeachment against anyone up to that point in time.

The Senate later ordered Hastings removed from office—making him one of only six judges removed from the bench. Hastings was the first sitting federal judge to be charged with a crime while sitting on a federal bench, the Department of Justice said at the time.

Hastings owes Williams between $500,000 and $1,000,000 for a loan of legal fees, according to public documents.

Hastings’ congressional office did not return a request for comment about its compensation of Williams.

Published under: Congress , Transparency