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Panel recommends censure of Rangel

Nov. 18, 2010 at 7:13 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- A U.S. House ethics panel Thursday recommended censure for Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who was found guilty Tuesday of 11 of 12 ethics violations.

Meeting behind closed doors, the panel voted 9-1 to recommended Rangel be formally censured, USA Today reported.

Censure is the most serious form of punishment under House rules, short of expulsion from the House. The full House would have to approve the punishment.

It was unclear late Thursday when the House might hold a vote on the matter, the newspaper said.

Rangel ended his testimony Thursday with an emotional plea.

"They will continue to call me a crook and call me corrupt," he said. "This member is not corrupt and there is no excuse for my behavior. ... I never intended to enrich myself. ... I apologize for any embarrassment I have caused you individually."

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

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