The Republican Party of Virginia has filed an ethics complaint against Sen. Mark R. Warner, D-Va., for “brainstorming” about potential jobs for the daughter of then-state Sen. Phillip P. Puckett, D-Russell.

The state GOP filed the complaint with the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Ethics. Warner spokesman Kevin Hall said the complaint is baseless.

Puckett abruptly resigned from the state Senate in June, paving the way for Republicans to take control of the chamber and thwarting Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s bid for Medicaid expansion.

Warner has acknowledged that as Democrats sought to keep Puckett in the fold, he discussed job possibilities for Puckett’s daughter, Martha Ketron, in a phone conversation with her brother, Joseph.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia said last month that U.S. prosecutors will not seek criminal charges surrounding Puckett’s resignation from the legislature.

“After examining the published reports and Warner’s own statements during the campaign, it appears that Warner may have violated a federal law that prohibits senators and representatives from using their influence or offering to use their influence to secure employment for another, solely on the basis of political affiliation,” said Pat Mullins, chairman of the state Republican Party.

Warner won a second term in November, defeating Republican Ed Gillespie.

“This is the last pathetic partisan attack of the 2014 campaign," said Hall, the Warner spokesman. "It has no merit, and everyone else has moved on.”

acain@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6645

Twitter: @AndrewCainRTD

Staff writer Markus Schmidt contributed to this report.

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