Jan 18, 2012

Ethics Investigations: What Ever Happened??? Charles Rangel -Maxine Waters

The ethics investigation into Congressman Charles Rangel, Congress's former chief tax writer, began on July 2008.  Rangel was charged with 13 counts of ethics violations many dealing with personal finances.

After a “trial” by the Ethics panel last November — which Rangel walked out of in protest because he did not have an attorney — the New York Democrat was found guilty on 11 ethics violations, including charges that he had misused federal resources, failed to declare hundreds of thousands of dollars in income and assets on his annual financial statements and failed to pay income taxes on a Dominican Republic home, among others.

With the panel's chief counsel finding "no evidence of corruption" and attributing Rangel's misdeeds largely to being "sloppy in his personal finances," it is not expected to recommend he be expelled from Congress.
Rangel resigned in March as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee after being admonished for corporate-sponsored trips in violation of House gift rules.

A year after the finding by the Ethics Committee, in the clearest sign of his return from political wastelands, several members of the House Democratic leadership, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), headlined a Rangel fundraiser at a Washington restaurant. The Rangel event, which solicited as much as $5,000 from attendees, was expected to raise $50,000 with about 40 people attending, according to a source familiar with the event.

Maxine Waters
The case against the California Democrat involves allegations that she improperly intervened on behalf of a minority bank where her husband owned $350,000-plus in stock during the 2008 U.S. financial crisis. Waters has denied any wrongdoing, but the Ethics Committee initially voted to charge her with three violations last summer.

An outside counsel  was retained by the Ethics Committee in mid-July and was scheduled to complete his probe — which included a review of how Republicans on the panel handled the Waters case — by the end of last year.  The House Ethics Committee has extended the contract for the outside counsel investigating the case involving Democratic California Rep. Maxine Waters, raising new questions about when the secretive panel will finalize its decision. The case remains in limbo, with no answer on when the work will be completed.



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