Ethics Committee Refuses to Postpone Rangel Trial

Posted November 15, 2010 at 9:41am

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) failed to win a reprieve Monday when a House ethics subcommittee refused to delay his ethics hearing.

Following an executive session that lasted nearly 40 minutes, the ethics subcommittee announced it would not postpone the proceeding to give the New York lawmaker time to hire a new attorney.

“We are prepared to proceed today. We recognize that Mr. Rangel does not intend to participate,” said ethics Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).

The New York lawmaker threatened to boycott the proceedings Monday, after he accused the panel of previously refusing his requests to delay the hearing because of its leaders’ desire to finish the hearing before the end of the 111th Congress.

Rangel did not appear in the Longworth House Office Building hearing room when the ethics subcommittee announced its decision.

An ethics investigative subcommittee charged the senior lawmaker in July with 13 counts of wrongdoing, including allegations that he misused federal resources to solicit donations for a City College of New York center named in his honor, used a rent-stabilized apartment for his campaign office, failed to pay taxes on a Dominican Republic villa and filed inaccurate financial disclosure forms.

An adjudicatory subcommittee, composed of four Democrats and four Republicans, must now determine whether Rangel is guilty of any of those allegations.