Mystery: What’s The Focus Of Rep. Stark Ethics Probe?

Ron Sachs

The House Ethics Committee has launched an investigation of longtime Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), but it’s staying mum on what the probe is about.

The panel says (.pdf) it will announce its course of action in the case before Feb. 10. The outside Office of Congressional Ethics forwarded Stark’s case to the ethics panel in November.Roll Call, which first reported the Dec. 24 announcement, notes that a report of tax problems with Maryland property owned by Stark appears not to be at issue here:

The California lawmaker’s name surfaced earlier this year in a confidential ethics document leaked to the public that detailed investigations under way by both the OCE and the ethics panel.

That document, dated July 2009, indicated the OCE had reviewed Stark and three other lawmakers after news reports indicated the Members had received a Maryland tax break intended for state residents. OCE terminated those inquiries without recommending a formal ethics investigation.

Stark’s office did not immediately respond to a call. He is a top member of the Ways and Means Committee and chairs its subcommittee on health.

(Via the Washington Independent)