The Assembly ethics watchdog is poised to step in over the revelations about property developer money obtained by Iris Robinson.
And the prospect of a probe by a cross-party Stormont committee will further complicate life for First Minister Peter Robinson, given the rules on declaring payments received by spouses.
A committee-led investigation would be separate from the review by a senior lawyer Mr Robinson announced last week.
All MLAs are required to publicly declare gifts or other “material advantage” obtained by their partners, which in any way relate to membership of the Assembly.
The Stormont Standards and Privileges Committee, which oversees the rulebook, was due to hold a special meeting today.
Mrs Robinson obtained £50,000 in 2008 from two property developers to bankroll a cafe business venture by her teenage lover Kirk McCambley.
The rules for MLAs which were in force at the time of the £50,000 bankrolling stated: “The defining purpose of the Register is to ‘provide information of any pecuniary interest or other material benefit which a Member receives which might reasonably be thought by others to influence his or her actions, speeches or votes in the Assembly, or actions taken in his or her capacity as a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly'. Members are required to keep that overall purpose in mind when registering their interests.”
The rules also required “the registration of any gift or material advantage received by the Member or the Member’s partner from a UK source, which in any way relates to membership of the Assembly”.
It may eventually fall to the Standards and Privileges Committee to decide if the £50,000 arrangement made by the First Minister's MLA wife in any way related to membership of the Assembly.
Another unanswered question is why Mrs Robinson did not make belated declarations, after her husband learned of the property developer's payments around Christmas 2008.
The rules for MLAs are separate from the Stormont Ministerial Code. Mr Robinson last week triggered a review of himself under the Ministerial Code.