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Ethics panel begins Rangel investigation

Sept. 24, 2008 at 7:39 PM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- The House Ethics Committee has begun its investigation of U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, two months after the New York Democrat requested a probe.

The Hill reported Wednesday that the committee voted to establish an investigative subcommittee to conduct an inquiry into Rangel's finances.

Among the issues the subcommittee said it will investigate: $75,000 in undisclosed rental income from a villa in the Dominican Republic and a no-interest loan involved in the deal and his use of four rent-controlled apartments in New York City.

The subcommittee will be led by Reps. Gene Green, D-Texas, the acting chairman of the ethics committee, and Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., its ranking Republican member. Sitting on the panel will be Reps. Robert "Bobby" Scott, D-Va., and Jo Bonner, R-Ala.

The subcommittee will also look into alleged misuse of congressional stationery for fundraising letters for an education center bearing his name, the newspaper reported.

Republicans have said Rangel, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, should lose his chairmanship pending the outcome of the investigation.

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