Green Asks Panel to Consider Rangel’s Request

Posted September 18, 2008 at 1:11pm

Acting House ethics Chairman Gene Green (D-Texas) announced Thursday the panel will consider a request by Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) to investigate his personal finances.

“It is my intent to recommend to Ranking Member [Doc] Hastings [R-Wash.] and the Committee that we honor Chairman Rangel’s request,” Green said in a brief statement. The committee is scheduled to meet Wednesday.

Prompted by press reports, Rangel acknowledged he failed to report rental income from a villa he owns in the Dominican Republic on tax forms and Congressional financial disclosure forms. He has estimated that he could owe $10,000 in back taxes and penalties.

The Ways and Means chairman has said he will hire a forensic accountant to review all of his financial disclosure forms and tax records for the past 20 years.

Rangel’s attorney, Lanny Davis, said the auditor will file the report to the ethics committee without giving Rangel or Davis an opportunity to review it, and that Rangel will authorize the committee to release the report and the tax returns to the public.

The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct announced in August it would investigate, at the Rangel’s request, the lawmaker’s lease of four rent-controlled apartments in New York and his fundraising for a City College of New York program.

Rangel has also asked the ethics panel to review his personal finances related to the Dominican Republic property.

It is not clear how the ethics panel will address Rangel’s latest request. According to the House Ethics Manual, the committee is not allowed to accept a complaint against any Member seeking re-election within 60 days of an election.