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Ethics Staff Director Resigns

The top aide to the House ethics committee has resigned his post, according to a Congressional source.

Staff Director and Chief Counsel Blake Chisam joined the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct in April 2009 as counsel to Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.). He was elevated to staff director in May 2009.

Chisam notified committee leaders prior to the November election that he would resign at the end of the 111th Congress.

A Lofgren spokesman did not immediately return a request for comment.

Chisam served as the prosecutor during recent House ethics trial of Rep. Charlie Rangel , which ended with the chamber voting to censure the New York Democrat earlier this month.

In a June 2009 interview, Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), the panel’s ranking member, told Roll Call he made the decision to recommend Chisam for the staff director post, rather than an apolitical candidate. Chisam had previously served as an aide to Lofgren on the House Judiciary Committee.

Bonner said he had been impressed by Chisam’s work during the panel’s search for a staff director: “I think he has the right judgment as well as experience to be a great staff director,” he said at the time.

Neither Democratic nor Republican leaders have tapped lawmakers to serve on the ethics panel in the 112th Congress.

Chisam has not announced his next steps.

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