Dodd denies favoritism claim

WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd Friday denied claims he received special treatment from Countrywide Financial when he refinanced his home in 2003.

The Connecticut Democrat is chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and has been working on legislation aimed at responding to the tide of home foreclosures across the nation, The Hill reported.


Dodd is accused of receiving a VIP interest rate, the report said. Dodd said when he and his wife refinanced their home they "did not seek or expect any favorable treatment."

He said the couple shopped around for the best rate, he said in a statement.

"As a United States senator, I would never ask or expect to be treated differently than anyone else refinancing their home," Dodd said.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has asked the Senate and House ethics committees for investigations into members of Congress that may have received loans in violation of existing gift bans.

Dodd's case, which was first reported on Conde Nast Portfolios Thursday, raises some concern, some observers say.

"It's potentially a problem in that, when members of Congress receive loans and make any business deals, they're supposed to be treated like every other citizen," said Meredith McGehee, policy director for the Campaign Legal Center.


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