WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15), a member of the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics), issued the following statement, which was also submitted for the record, on the censuring of Rep. Charles B. Rangel (NY-15):
“As a member of the Ethics Committee, I have carefully reviewed evidence in the matter of Congressman Rangel and believe the Committee’s recommendation for censure is appropriate. While the censuring of a Member of Congress is a rare and significant action, I am confident this is the proper penalty for the House to impose on Mr. Rangel, given the accumulation and totality of his offenses.
On November 16, a bipartisan adjudicatory subcommittee on which I served found 11 of the 13 counts Mr. Rangel faced were supported by clear and convincing evidence. I believe the most egregious of these offenses included violating the Ethics in Government Act by submitting numerous inaccurate financial disclosure statements and violating the Code of Ethics for Government Service by running a campaign office from a property leased as a rent-stabilized residential apartment.
I also believe it is appropriate for Mr. Rangel to provide restitution for his failure to pay taxes. As a long time member and former Chairman of the House’s tax-writing committee, Mr. Rangel’s tax violations cannot be ignored.
Violations like those committed by Mr. Rangel, individually and cumulatively, damage the public’s trust in their elected officials and this institution. However, the House has the opportunity today to restore the American people’s confidence in this body by illustrating that Members of Congress are accountable for their transgressions and will face appropriate penalties for their misconduct.
Mr. Speaker, while this difficult occasion is by no means a pleasant duty for any of us, it is nonetheless a necessity. Therefore, we now must demonstrate our commitment to high ethical standards by voting to censure Congressman Rangel.”