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Ethics probe of Murtha, 2 others dropped

Dec. 18, 2009 at 6:40 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A House ethics panel Friday dropped its probe of Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., and two other members of the defense spending panel Murtha leads, aides said.

The Office of Congressional Ethics told aides for Murtha, and Reps. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., and Jim Moran, D-Va., it no longer was investigating allegations that the three proffered government funding earmarks for campaign donations, The Wall Street Journal reported.

George Behan, Dick's chief of staff, said the congressman received a phone call earlier in December from the panel telling him the matter has been closed.

The committee told Behan it "found no basis for further action and the matter was closed," Behan said.

The Office of Congressional Ethics may still be investigating several other members of the House Appropriation Committee's defense subcommittee, the Journal reported. Media previously reported the office was looking into the actions of Reps. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan.; Rep. Peter Visclosky, D-Ind.; and Bill Young, R-Fla.

The Office of Congressional Ethics was created several years ago to examine possible ethics violations by lawmakers and then make recommendations to the House Ethics Committee.

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