Ala.'s Bonner to head House ethics panel

Dec. 29, 2010 at 5:39 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Incoming U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, says he has chosen an ethics committee veteran to head the panel.

Boehner said Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., is "widely respected" by both parties and has a "deep appreciation for the importance of both ethics education and enforcement in the House," The Hill Newspaper reported.

In selecting Bonner, Boehner rejected calls to fill the committee with an entirely new roster, the report said. Bonner was the committee's ranking member during a controversial period throughout the last Congress.

In a written statement, Boehner said, "The American people have every right to expect the highest standards of ethical conduct from their elected leaders, and it is important for members of both the majority and the minority to work together to ensure that such standards are observed and respected at all times within the institution."

Over the last two years, the panel was the scene of partisan infighting, facing criticism for its handling of Reps. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y, and Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

During the summer, Bonner took what The Hill called the unusual step of publicly criticizing Ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., for not scheduling Rangel's ethics trial before the November midterm elections.

The House censured Rangel in early December. The Waters case is pending after her public trial was delayed in late November.

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