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Rangel found guilty of ethics violations

Nov. 16, 2010 at 12:42 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- A House of Representatives ethics panel Tuesday found Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., guilty of ethics violations on 11 of 12 counts.

When announcing the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct's adjudicatory subcommittee's findings, Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said the panel would prepare a report for presentation to the full House, then consider Rangel's punishment.

Rangel originally was charged with 13 violations, but one charge was rolled into another, CNN said.

The ethics panel now moves to the penalty phase, considering punishments ranging from censure or a level of reprimand to expulsion. CNN reported that expulsion usually is reserved for someone convicted of criminal acts. Full House approval would depend on the punishment.

Rangel was accused of ethics violations on allegations he pressured lobbyists and corporations for multimillion-dollar contributions to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at The City College of New York. He also is accused of failing to disclose $600,000 of income and assets on his annual financial disclosure forms, illegally maintaining multiple rent-controlled apartments in a luxury Harlem apartment building and failing to pay income taxes on a vacation villa in the Dominican Republic.

The decision comes a day after the panel rejected a plea by Rangel to delay the trial because he didn't have counsel. The panel went ahead with the proceeding after Rangel walked out.

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