A House investigative subcommittee filed 13 counts with the House Ethics Committee against Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) for violating House rules, including:
1) improper solicitations for donations
2) errors and omissions on financial disclosure forms
3) improper use of rent subsidized apartments for a campaign
4) failure to report and pay taxes on rental income from a vacation home in the Dominican Republic
Rep. Jo Bonner (R-AL) of the investigative committee said Rangel has known of the investigation and that it was almost complete at the end of 2008. But delays in requests for information and other factors led to the subcommittee just wrapping up its work in the past few days.
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) of the Ethics Committee, said the charges stem from accusations that Rangel:
- Solicited foundations to fund a center bearing his name at City College of New York; that he used staff to do it as well as meeting personally with lobbyists to get it built.
- Used a rent stabilized/subsidized apartment for a campaign office (Lenox Terrace)
- On Financial disclosures and on tax forms, he failed to report rental income on a villa in the Dominican Republic over a period of years. For a decade, he failed to report $600,000 on financial disclosure statements for these periods.
"If proven, he would have violated several House rules and federal statutes," McCall said. He added, "We will handle this matter with the utmost professionalism and non-partisanship that it deserves."
Bonner called him a "powerful" and "well-liked member," lauded his life story, but said this has nothing to do with that life story. If true, Bonner said Rangel "brought discredit to this body" at a time when people have such "little faith" that members of Congress can do their jobs well.
"It's truly a sad day," Bonner said.