Ethics Panel to Complete Rangel Probe by Jan. 3

Posted November 26, 2008 at 5:42pm

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) vowed the House ethics committee will complete a wide-ranging investigation into Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) before the close of the 110th Congress, putting the panel on an unusually swift schedule.

“I have been assured the report will be completed by the end of this session of Congress, which concludes on January 3, 2009. I look forward to reviewing the report at that time,” Pelosi said in a statement.

The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct voted in September to establish an investigative subcommittee to probe Rangel’s personal finances and numerous alleged violations of House rules after a series of negative news reports.

The investigation will examine Rangel’s ownership of a villa in the Dominican Republic and his failure to report rental income on that property, which led to unpaid taxes; 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.

Earlier this month, Rangel announced the hiring of a forensic accountant to review his personal finances. Her earlier vowed to provide the ethics committee with a report from the accountant.