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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Waters chooses ethics trial - Jonathan Allen - POLITICO.com

Waters chooses ethics trial - Jonathan Allen - POLITICO.com

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has chosen to go through an ethics trial, like the one lined up for New York Rep. Charles Rangel, rather than accepting charges made by an ethics subcommittee, a source familiar with the process tells POLITICO.

The back-to-back trials of two black lawmakers represent an unprecedented use of an ethics adjudication system that has rarely been used by House members accused of breaking ethics rules.

Waters's case revolves around allegations that she improperly intervened with federal regulators to help a bank that her husband owned stock in and on whose board he once served.

Waters denies any wrongdoing.

"Congresswoman Waters has chosen to go through an adjudicatory subcommittee hearing, rather than accept any of the counts from the investigative subcommittee," the source told POLITICO.

In layman's terms, that means she's going to trial.

The ethics committee already has its hands full reviewing charges that Rangel broke House rules and federal statutes by improperly using his office to raise money for an education center bearing his name, maintained four rent-stabilized apartments in New York, failed to report income from a Dominican rental property and underreported hundreds of thousands of dollars on legally required financial disclosure forms.

The Rangel case opened Thursday but won't truly get under way until the House returns from its summer recess in September.

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