House Ethics to Continue Rangel Inquiry

Posted February 10, 2009 at 5:09pm

The House ethics committee voted Tuesday to continue its investigation into Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel’s (D-N.Y.) personal finances and other activities. According to a brief statement issued Tuesday evening, the investigative subcommittee will include ethics ranking member Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), former ranking member Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), former Chairman Gene Green (D-Texas) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.). All four lawmakers served on the investigative subcommittee in the 110th Congress. The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct initially established an investigative subcommittee in late 2008 to examine multiple accusations of wrongdoing by Rangel, including his fundraising efforts on behalf of a City College of New York center named in his honor. The committee later expanded that inquiry to include an alleged quid pro quo of legislation for donations to the college. In addition, the inquiry included 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, Rangel’s use of House parking facilities for long-term vehicle storage, and his use of three rent-controlled apartments as his primary residence. Rangel has denied any wrongdoing related to his fundraising efforts, but he has acknowledged the unpaid taxes. “I expect them to proceed vigorously and thoroughly on certainly the Rangel case, which he asked them to do,” Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said Tuesday. “And frankly, my expectation is, and I have said this for the last six years, that I expect the ethics committee to take under consideration any allegation that certainly is public and, for that matter, any allegation that is privately made that bears substance.”