Rangel Hires Forensic Accountant

Posted November 13, 2008 at 3:56pm

Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) announced Thursday he has hired a forensic accountant to review his personal finances, nearly two months after first saying he would do so.

According to a statement, Rangel has hired the public accounting firm Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co.

The firm’s Mary Lou Gervie will head the review. Gervie is a forensic accountant and former Internal Revenue Service agent.

Rangel is under scrutiny by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, which voted in late September to establish an investigative subcommittee into a multitude of alleged rules violations by the senior lawmaker.

The panel’s investigation will examine Rangel’s ownership of a Dominican Republic villa, as well as his use of House parking facilities for long-term vehicle storage, fundraising efforts on behalf of a City College of New York center bearing his name, and the lawmaker’s use of multiple rent-controlled apartments as his primary residence.

Rangel has admitted he failed to report rental income on the Dominican property, the nexus of his tax troubles.

The New York Democrat, who has defended his behavior in each of the incidents, had himself requested the ethics panel investigate each of the incidents.