Ethics watchdog files complaint against lawmaker who berated park ranger
A congressional watchdog group filed an ethics complaint against a Republican lawmaker who was caught on camera berating a park ranger over a memorial closed as part of the government shutdown.
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) demanded to know why the National Park Service Ranger was keeping most tourists out of the World War II Memorial, although visiting veterans had been permitted to enter by the Interior Department.
The lawmaker, who helped set up the shutdown by voting with his House Republican colleagues to delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act, told the park ranger she should be ashamed of herself.
Footage of the confrontation Wednesday between Neugebauer, the park ranger and a crowd gathered at the memorial was shot by NBC News.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed a complaint with the Office of Congressional Ethics against Neugebauer, saying his conduct violated the requirement that lawmakers act “at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.”
The group’s executive director, Melanie Sloan, told Raw Story the congressman had angered her for humiliating the park ranger by treating the woman with disrespect in front of a group of people.
“You can’t shut down the government and then go yell at a park ranger as if she had some role in it,” Sloan said.
Sloan said she doubted the ethics committee would take steps to punish Neugebauer, but she hoped he’d at least be sent a letter of reprimand.
“People already hate members of Congress, and videos like this only shows why,” Sloan said.