House Investigation of Rep. Waters Declared Fair

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Maxine Waters case ruled fairAccording to a report issued last week by the House Ethics Committee, the investigation of Representative Maxine Waters has been conducted in a fair and ethical way. Waters, a Democratic Representative from California, has been under investigation over allegations that she abused her position in order to direct government money to the bank her husband owns stock in.

Normally such investigations are conducted by the Ethics Committee, which is comprised of five Republicans and five Democrats. However, after Waters complained of unfair treatment, the Committee turned the case over to a new team. This panel consisted of six uninvolved Representatives. Billy Martian, an independent lawyer, was also tasked with looking into how the investigation had been conducted.

After examining the record, Martin concluded that Waters had been treated fairly and that the committee had done nothing wrong. In a letter released to the Ethics Committee, Martin did discuss unauthorized leaks of protected material. Waters herself leaked documents containing legal evidence at a news conference in August of 2010. Staff members of some representatives on the committee also leaked material to media organizations. Those individuals remain unnamed.

Throughout the investigation, Waters has maintained her innocence. She has been consistently critical of the committee, asserting that their procedures did not allow her to defend herself. She also believes the committee has unfairly dragged out the investigation. The matter has been ongoing since September of 2009.

The bank in question is OneUnited. Waters’ husband served on the board of that bank in the past and continues to maintain a financial interest in it. OneUnited did receive federal bailout money in the amount of $12 million. Federal officials maintain that Waters did not have any influence on this decision. Representative Barney Frank also advocated for OneUnited, but no conflict of interest is alleged in his case.

Read more at the Boston Globe.