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Groups Call on Ethics Panel to Complete Waters Case

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Government reform advocates called Wednesday for the House Ethics Committee to complete its stalled investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters, calling an indefinite postponement of the inquiry “unfair” to the California Democrat and the House.

In a letter to Ethics Chairman Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) and ranking member Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), six organizations asked the committee to announce when it intends to restart the probe.

“Recent news reports indicate that the Committee has no plans yet for resuming the investigation or adjudicatory hearing and concluding the matter,” says the letter from Campaign Legal Center, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters and Public Citizen.

An Ethics subcommittee charged Waters in August with violating House rules over allegations that her chief of staff tried to secure federal support for a bank in which Waters and her husband held hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of stock. She has denied wrongdoing.

But in November the full Ethics panel suspended a scheduled trial after announcing that it had uncovered new evidence in the case. The committee has said nothing about the case since then.

“These delays, followed by uncertainty whether any action is forthcoming, are unfair to all parties involved in the case and reflect poorly on the ability of the House Committee on Ethics to fulfill its mission,” the letter continues. “We request that the committee inform us and the public about when the Committee is planning to resume its work on this case and when the Committee is anticipating completing its adjudication of this case.”

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