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 a pair of black lawmakers represent an unprecedented use of an ethics adjudication system that has rarely been used by House members accused of breaking House rules.
Waters' 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 trying Rangel on charges that he 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 under-reported 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.
POLITICO first reported earlier this week that the committee was expected to unveil its charges against Waters before leaving town for the recess.
Her decision to go to trial appears to have postponed the release of the committee's formal charging document, called a "Statement of Alleged Violation."
If a panel of ethics committee investigators can prove charges against Waters to a separate subcommittee of lawmaker-jurors, the full ethics committee will recommend a punishment to the full House.
Texas Rep. Gene Green, a member of the panel that investigated Rangel, told reporters Friday thay investigators had passed a recommendation of a reprimand — the lightest possible punishment — to the adjudicatory subcommittee.
The Waters case also presents a test of the Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body that takes complaints from the public and chooses which ones to forward to the House ethics committee.
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have complained that the OCE has unfairly and disproportionately targeted them, and many have signed onto a legislative effort to de-fang the office.
Waters' case was referred to the ethics committee by OCE.
July 30, 2010
The devastating earthquake that shook Haiti on 12 January 2010 deprived women and girls of homes and livelihoods, and left many vulnerable to violence. UNIFEM was on the ground in Haiti before the crisis, and responded immediately, providing vital services and supporting recovery efforts that ensure safety of women and girls. Say NO had appealed to supporters worldwide to help raise resources for Haiti’s women and girls and many responded, generously.
Recently, UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi and Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman visited Haiti and met with survivors of violence, Haitian and UN officials and non-governmental organizations working to assist women affected by the earthquake. We wanted to update you about their findings and hope that you can share this with your readers.
For the latest news on the visit and UNIFEM's relief efforts, click here.
To download high-resolution photographs, please visit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/unifem/sets/72157624615347376/
Please stay tuned on www.saynotoviolence.org for more news and updates.
Please let me know if you have any questions or need further information about Say NO and UNIFEM’s efforts in Haiti.
Coordinator, Say NO - UNiTE to End Violence against Women
(Part of UN Women)
304 E 45 Street, NY 10017
Tomorrow night, the biggest savings end!
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Janis Fullilove, a councilwoman in Memphis, Tenn., received death threats Tuesday over her support of protection for gays working in city government.
Fullilove said that she received four threatening calls that referred to her support over the non-discrimination ordinance and also found a dead cat on her lawn.
Police have said the calls, which Fullilove said had threatened to kill her, were serious enough in nature for them to place officers on patrol by her house for protection.
Following the incident, Fullilove contacted Jonathan Cole of the Tennessee Equality Project, who spoke to reporters.
"If a city councilwoman -- a prominent person in city government -- can experience this kind of threat and intimidation, what about the individual employees who work for the city who may be work for sanitation, or police or fire?" Said Cole.
But the threats have not been enough to sway her stance on the issue.
"Her position is unchanged," said Cole.