California rep. agrees to House Ethics Committee sanctions
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) agreed Wednesday to comply with the reprimands a House Ethics Committee report recommended after finding she showed “a callous disregard” for both her employees and her position in chasing re-election.
According to Yahoo! News, Richardson waived a hearing looking into the matter. A statement from her office said she had agreed to pay a fine by December 1, but did not identify the amount.
The report urged House members to fine Richardson $10,000 and reprimand her for seven ethics violations, including using her staff to work on her campaign on House office time and obstructing the investigation into her conduct by altering or destroying evidence and refusing to produce documents asked of her, ABC News reported.
“Through her actions, she demonstrated a callous disregard for her staff and the resources entrusted to her by the American people,” it said. “Her disrespect for boundaries between the official and the political realms, as well as the boundaries that define the Committee’s jurisdiction, deserves a public reprimand.”
The ruling could damage an already tough road to re-election for Richardson, who is facing fellow Democrat Rep. Janice Hahn, a former Los Angeles city council member in the November election. Hahn boasts the endorsement of the state Democratic party. California state rules allow for two members of the same party to square off in the general election if they are the top two vote-getters in the primaries.
Richardson, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, was allegedly polling worse among black voters in the city than Hahn, whose father, L.A. Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, enjoyed great support in the black community.