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Pursuant to House Rule XI Clause 3(q)(2)(D), today the Chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Representative Jo Bonner, and the Ranking Member, Representative Linda T. Sánchez, submitted a report to the House of Representatives in the Matter of Allegations Relating to Representative Laura Richardson. The full Committee report includes the report of the Investigative Subcommittee (ISC) in this matter, along with the responsive views of Representative Richardson. The full Committee report also addresses the concerns and arguments made by Representative Richardson in her views.
At the completion of its investigation, the ISC unanimously concluded that there was substantial reason to believe that Representative Laura Richardson violated the Purpose Law, 31 U.S.C. § 1301; House Rule XXIII clauses 1, 2, and 8; Clause 2 of the Code of Ethics for Government Service; and other standards of conduct, by improperly using House resources for campaign, personal, and nonofficial purposes; by requiring or compelling her official staff to perform campaign work; and by obstructing the investigation of the Committee and the ISC through the alteration or destruction of evidence, the deliberate failure to produce documents responsive to requests for information and a subpoena, and attempting to influence the testimony of witnesses.
As part of a resolution Representative Richardson negotiated with the ISC, Representative Richardson agreed to admit to all seven counts in the Statement of Alleged Violation, accept all other terms of the ISC’s recommendations, and waive all further procedural rights in this matter provided to her by House or Committee Rule. On July 31, 2012, the full Committee unanimously accepted the ISC’s recommendations that the Committee submit a public report to the House, and that the adoption of that report by the House serve as a reprimand of Representative Richardson for her misconduct and impose a fine in the amount of $10,000 to be paid no later than December 1, 2012. Further, the full Committee unanimously agreed to strongly discourage Representative Richardson from permitting any of her official staff to perform work on her campaign (either on a paid or volunteer basis), but to the extent any of her official staff do perform work on her campaign, that said staff be required to sign a waiver asserting that such work will be provided voluntarily and is not being compelled by Representative Richardson.
Therefore, the Committee on Ethics has unanimously recommended that the House of Representatives adopt the report, and with it, a reprimand of Representative Richardson for the conduct described therein.
Finally, the report also addresses the two employee respondents in this matter. The Committee issued separate letters of reproval as part of negotiated resolutions with each of the employees. All of the materials discussed above are now available on the Committee’s Web site at www.ethics.house.gov.