Ethics Will Not Investigate Gutierrez Protest Arrest

Posted May 27, 2010 at 2:16pm

The House ethics committee voted Wednesday not to open an investigation into Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and an aide following their arrest at an immigration protest outside the White House earlier this month.

In a brief report on its decision, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the ethics panel, noted that Gutierrez and his legislative director Susan Collins each paid a $100 fine on May 7 for “failing to obey or comply with a necessary order or instruction of a police officer.”

Roll Call previously reported that Gutierrez, wearing a T-shirt that read, “Arrest me, not my friends,” was arrested by police after sitting down on Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest in front of the White House and refusing to move when asked by U.S. Park Police.

Under a House rule approved in 2007, whenever a Member is “indicted or otherwise formally charged with criminal conduct,” the ethics panel is required within 30 days to either empanel an investigative subcommittee or issue a report detailing its decision not to do so.

“The Standards Committee voted against empanelling an investigative subcommittee regarding this matter,” the reported stated. “The Standards Committee considered the scope and nature of the conduct of Representative Gutierrez and Ms. Collins and determined that review by an investigative subcommittee is not required in this matter.”