Ethics Committee to investigate Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson
November 4th, 2011
06:13 PM ET
10 years ago

Ethics Committee to investigate Democratic Rep. Laura Richardson

Washington (CNN) – The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it will launch an investigation of Rep. Laura Richardson, D-California, over alleged misuse of House resources for political purposes.

The committee released a statement saying it will create an “investigative subcommittee” to “determine whether Representative Laura Richardson violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation…with respect to the alleged use of official House resources and personnel for work related to campaign activities and other non-official purposes.”

Richardson said in a statement she looks forward to “a full, fair and expeditious inquiry.”

“I also intend to explore the issue of whether the Ethics Committee has engaged in discriminatory conduct in pursuing two investigations against me while simultaneously failing to apply the same standards to or take the same actions against other members-of whom the overwhelming majority are white males,” Richardson added.

The three-term California congresswoman pointedly called out some of her fellow colleagues who use their offices as sleeping quarters.

“The Committee has chosen to unjustly target its investigations concerning use of official House resources for political purposes on certain members, while overlooking the well-publicized misuse of official House resources for personal purposes by numerous other members of Congress,” Richardson said. “Specifically, numerous members have used their House offices for personal lodging, in some cases for years, saving tens of thousands of dollars personally at taxpayers’ expense. Under House rules, personal use of House resources is as impermissible as political use.”

Asked about Richardson’s allegations of racial bias by the committee, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Missouri, distanced himself from the issue.

“I’m not ready to declare that that there is a widespread conspiracy aimed at doing political damage to black members of Congress,” Cleaver said. “I think when you make statements like that you ought to have evidence.”

Richardson’s seat will likely be redistricted next year and she may face competition from fellow Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn.

Richardson was previously investigated and cleared of any wrongdoing in a 2010 investigation regarding a home loan from Washington Mutual Bank.

- CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

- Follow Xuan Thai on twitter at @thaicnn.

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Filed under: California • Congress • House of Representatives
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. Little Jimmy Truth

    Will lovely Obama rescue her?


    November 4, 2011 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Excoastie

    The 112th Congress is a joke being played on the American people.

    November 4, 2011 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. Former Republican, now an Independent

    These investigations, better known as "witchhunts", by the republican strangled house is just another smokescreen to divert attention from their 20 months of sitting on their behinds and doing nothing to help get the economy moving. Their only interest lies in holding the American people hostage, in the hope of winning re-election in 2012.

    November 4, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. My name is Jose Jimenez

    Take one look and tell me if she is guilty or not. The real story is all of Congress is corrupt.

    November 4, 2011 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. diridi

    Does Ethics Committee have any Ethics? I pity at these allegations.....nonsense....

    November 4, 2011 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Larry C Wilson

    She is correct in pointing out the differences in treatment, although that excuses nothing she might have done.

    November 4, 2011 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  7. Houffman

    I don't see the same belief in the allegations against this Congresswoman that seem to be taken for granted against Herman Cain... Why not?

    November 4, 2011 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  8. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Another member of the Congressional Black Caucus getting investigated. What a surprise.

    November 4, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  9. gt

    of course its the white man fault...ops what about herman about this ..its conservative white man s fault..

    November 4, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  10. John Locke

    What a crook! Using house resources for campaigning is a heckuva lot worse than sleeping in your office! Only guilty people point the finger at others when confronted. Perhaps the ones sleeping in their offices are the few who actually read these multi thousand page bills before voting. Remember folks, if you want real political change don't vote for democrats or republicans. This message is brought to you by a true liberal.

    November 4, 2011 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  11. Daniel6

    Shock and Awe-another Democrat to receive a stern "Scolding" from her peers as she commits fraud--does that "Justice" fit the crime??

    November 4, 2011 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  12. Keith in Austin

    Another crooked liberal Democrat still residing in Pelosi's swamp!

    November 4, 2011 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Robert

    Aaaaawwwwww..............another Democrat using the race card. Who knew.

    November 4, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  14. Sheila

    Just fire her immediately. So tired of these government crooks.

    November 4, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  15. Al

    This is just another waste of the tax payers money. For NOTHING will happen to this Democrat, we've all seen it before when this useless Ethics committee brings anything up against a Democrat. For the Ethics committee has no Ethics itself it's not qualified to pass a proper sentence on anyone, I say make a peer of tax payers be the jury, then let's see if she can get away like Rangel did, and whatever happened to this one other California Ethics violator? Did she walk without an true charge too.

    November 4, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  16. bj

    What is good for One is good for All. What about the Republicans and there back room deals and the money they collect. Who is watching or protecting them? Oh, I forgot the Supreme Court has their back. So much for the principles of justice America was founded , 'Freedom and Justice for All".

    November 4, 2011 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  17. Michelle

    Playing the race card will not help you now and it will not help you in the elections in 2012 either!

    November 5, 2011 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  18. thomas

    Richardson said in a statement she looks forward to “a full, fair and expeditious inquiry.”

    I hope so !

    November 5, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am |
  19. me

    Of course its because she was black.... I love how people play the race card everytime they get in trouble.... and then they wonder how people can still be racist.

    November 5, 2011 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  20. mickey

    race card issue here,you know she is guilty,lets get on to the maxine waters hearing we can kill two birds with one stone.

    November 5, 2011 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  21. d

    Ahh yes ...yet another distraction...anyone ever notice that congress can not seem to multi task? this should eat up at least a few months of their time!

    November 5, 2011 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  22. Dave, Central Illinois

    According to the racist LIbs, she is a "right thinking" black. So, she will not be questioned by the liberal media. Libs are racist and believe in genocode against the unborn....

    November 5, 2011 10:04 am at 10:04 am |