Committee Held Rangel to ‘Higher Standard’

Posted November 17, 2010 at 11:21am

An ethics subcommittee disclosed Wednesday that it held Rep. Charlie Rangel to a “higher standard” when it judged whether he violated House rules, citing his senior standing in the chamber.

An adjudicatory subcommittee found Tuesday that the veteran New York Democrat broke House rules, ruling against him on 11 of 13 charges leveled by an investigative panel earlier this year.

In a report detailing its ruling to the full Committee on Standards of Official Conduct — which will vote on Rangel’s punishment at a public hearing Thursday — the adjudicatory panel indicated Rangel’s actions were evaluated more stringently based on his status in the House.

“Representative Rangel served at various times in highly visible and influential positions as both Chairman and Ranking Member of the Ways and Means Committee,” the report states. “Indeed, as Representative Rangel himself has observed, because of the substantial responsibilities of his position, it is appropriate to hold him to a higher standard.”

The subcommittee’s explanation appears in a section of the report detailing its decision to hold Rangel in violation of a House rule requiring Members to “behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House.”

“Considering the violations found, a majority of the Adjudicatory Subcommittee concluded that the totality of Representative Rangel’s conduct represented an ongoing pattern of behavior, as opposed to isolated incidents,” the report states.

Rangel was found to have 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 villa in the Dominican Republic and filed inaccurate financial disclosure forms.