Ethics committee won't charge Calif. Rep. Waters

FILE - In this Feb. 8, 2011 file photo, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks during news conference on a Woman's Right to Choose on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House Ethics Committee will hold a hearing Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, in the case of Waters, a senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee, who disputes allegations she tried to steer U.S. bailout money to a bank where her husband owns stock. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
September 21, 2012 7:56:34 AM PDT
California Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters will not be charged with ethics violations.

At a meeting Friday, House Ethics Committee members said they found no violations in their investigation of allegations she steered a $12 million federal bailout to a bank where her husband owns stock. Waters is a senior Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.

The committee, however, said Waters' chief of staff, Mikael Moore, did take actions in Congress in an attempt to help the bank and violated standards of conduct. Moore likely will receive a letter admonishing him for his conduct. but will not face more severe punishment, such as a reprimand, by the full House.

Virginia Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who is acting chairman of the panel, announced the tentative findings at a hearing but noted the committee has not issued a final report.

Goodlatte said the committee was convinced that when Waters asked for a meeting at the Treasury Department to discuss financial help for minority banks, she believed she did so on behalf of all minority banks - not just OneUnited, where her husband owns stock. Goodlatte said the committee agreed with Waters' assertion.

Goodlatte said that when Waters realized that OneUnited was in serious trouble, she told then-chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., to handle any further matters in the case. Goodlatte said, however, that Moore continued efforts in Congress to get committee help for OneUnited, even sending the committee staff an email saying, "OneUnited is in trouble."

Moore defended his actions, saying he violated no House rules.


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