Rangel Paid $26,000 in Mystery Fines to New York City

Posted April 19, 2010 at 6:18pm

In the latest mess involving Rep. Charlie Rangel’s (D) finances, the former Ways and Means chairman’s campaign committee paid $26,000 in fines to New York City on Jan. 19.

What could possibly lead to such a massive sum? Rangel’s office isn’t saying.

“These payments were made in full compliance with FEC rules,” said a spokesman for Rangel, who declined to comment further.

Rangel’s campaign finance report merely lists the payment as being for “fines.”

Rangel, who gave up his Ways and Means gavel last month, faces a host of ethical troubles, including inquiries into his procurement of multiple rent-stabilized apartments in New York.

Rangel gave up one of those apartments, which he used as a campaign office, in 2008 following stories in the New York Times.

The veteran lawmaker has paid parking tickets out of his campaign account in the past, but those payments were for much smaller amounts.

Rangel has also paid more than $1.5 million to date on legal fees, and his fundraising is no longer keeping up with expenses. He raised just $108,000 in contributions in the most recent quarter, and his cash on hand shrank to $635,000.