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Ethics Panel Says House Should Censure Charlie Rangel


A bipartisan panel debated how Rangel should be punished for several hours on Thursday. The vote to recommend censure for Rangel was 9-1.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would give an oral rebuke to Rangel before his colleagues if the House votes to accept the committee's recommendations.

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Rangel made an emotional appeal to the committee earlier in the day, and didn't have much to say to reporters following the hearing. He later issued a statement of apology.

The ethics panel had already decided that Rangel was guilty of 11 ethics violations, a result Rangel said was unfair. He said it was the committee's fault that he did not have a lawyer and walked out of the hearing, but the panel decided to go ahead.

The 11 charges against Rangel stemmed from four allegations: that Rangel used Congressional resources to raise money for an educational center bearing his name; did not report taxable income on a Dominican Republic rental villa; filed financial disclosure forms with inaccuracies; and set up a campaign office in a rent-controlled apartment in Harlem.

There was not a set precedent for House members found guilty of similar ethics violations, but the chief counsel of the ethics panel had recommended censure.