By George E. Curry
Nov 23, 2010
- Between 2005 and 2008, Rangel sent letters soliciting funds for the center named in his honor to more than 100 companies that had business pending before the House Ways and Means Committee, including the foundation arms of Verizon, AT&T, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, Goldman Sachs and Wachovia.
- Rangel improperly sent the solicitations out on his congressional letterhead in violation of House rules. His requests for donations included a brochure asking each for a lump sum of $40 million, or $6 million a year for five years.
- By using his congressional letterhead, Rangel’s conduct “created the mistaken appearance that the Rangel Center was a project endorsed by the government.”
- Congressional staff, telephones, computers, printers, stationery, other office supplies, and franking resources were used in violation of House rules.
- In addition to violating New York City’s zoning regulations and building code, Rangel’s use of a rent-stabilized apartment as an office for his campaign “may be construed by reasonable persons as influencing the performance of his official duties,” another violation of the House’s code of ethics.
- One of the counts against Rangel alleges that “…Rangel also violated tax laws by failing for 17 years, to report, and pay tax on, rental income on a beach villa in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.”
- According to the findings, the cumulative effect of Rangel’s action, “reflected poorly on the institution of the House and, thereby brought discredit to the House” in violation of the chamber’s code of conduct.
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