Ethics Committee Blasts Laura Richardson For Misusing Congressional Staffers


The House Ethics Committee issued a damning report Wednesday that found Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) had violated ethics rules by forcing congressional staffers to work at campaign events.

The report paints Richardson’s office as a place where staffers who “refused to ‘volunteer’ for campaign work would be scheduled for additional official work as a punishment.” Additionally, the committee found that Richardson tried to coach staffers about what to say about their campaign work following the launch of the committee’s investigation.Ethics Committee investigators found that Richardson violated House rules “by improperly using House resources for campaign, personal, and nonofficial purposes; by requiring or compelling her official staff to perform campaign work; and by obstructing the investigation of the Committee and the ISC through the alteration or destruction of evidence, the deliberate failure to produce documents responsive to requests for information and a subpoena, and attempting to influence the testimony of witnesses.” The committee recommended that the House fine Richardson $10,000 and reprimand her for her actions.

Additionally, the committee found that Richardson had demonstrated “an utter absence of true remorse for her misuse of official resources and, equally as significant, for what she has put her staff through, as well as a near total deflection of responsibility for this matter.” The report continues:

It is not this Committee, it is not other Members, it is not either political party, and most certainly, it is not her staff that is responsible for the situation Representative Richardson finds herself in. It is Representative Richardson’s own management, Representative Richardson’s own decisions, and Representative Richardson’s own actions that are responsible for the existence of this matter, the resources they have required, and the damage to the integrity of her office and this institution that they have caused. The Representative Richardson still does not seem willing to accept this simple fact is all the more reason why this Committee must refer the matter to the whole of the House of Representatives for their consideration and judgement.

A spokeswoman for Richardson said she would send TPM a statement on the report. We’ll update this story when we receive it.

The full report and supporting documents are posted here.