Senate ethics panel has four probes underway
By Ben Pershing
The Senate Ethics Committee had four active investigations of senators underway as of the end of 2009, according to a report released by the panel Friday.
The committee is required by law each January to issue a summary of its activities from the previous year. The panel's report for 2009 says it conducted a "preliminary inquiry" of 13 different alleged ethics violations (eight of which carried over from 2008). Of those 13, eight were dismissed for various reasons and one -- the investigation of Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) -- resulted in a letter of admonition.
That leaves a total of four investigations that were active as of the beginning of January. The committee does not publicize whom it is investigating, so the identities of those facing scrutiny are not all clear.
The committee is widely reported to have an ongoing investigation of Sen. John Ensign (D-Nev.), who is accused of having tried to cover up an affair with a former aide. The Justice Department is also investigating Ensign, but the ethics committee's top Republican suggested to Politico that the panel would continue its own probe regardless of the separate federal investigation.
In August, the ethics panel dismissed complaints against Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) related to their receipt of "VIP" mortgages from Countrywide Financial Corp. In November, the committee admonished Burris for his conflicting statements surrounding his appointment to the senate and whether he had tried to raise money for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
The report issued Friday said the committee received allegations of 99 ethics violations in 2009 from all sources, including those raised by senators or aides as well as outside sources. The vast majority were dismissed for lack of evidence. The panel also reported having "handled 12,667 telephone inquiries for ethics advice and guidance" as well as writing "996 ethics advisory letters and responses."
January 29, 2010; 12:38 PM ET
Categories: Capitol Briefing
Save & Share: Previous: Obama announces government greenhouse gas emissions targets
Next: Obama's Baltimore Q&A with House Republicans: the transcript
Posted by: Gatsby10 | February 1, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Gatsby10 | February 1, 2010 8:00 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: malmberg | January 31, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FactCheck2 | January 29, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: smelch | January 29, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: TYTMaverick | January 29, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: nosuchluck | January 29, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.