A house ethics subcommittee composed of eight Democrats and eight Republicans has found veteran New York Congressman Charles Rangel guilty of violating some of its rules and convicted him on 11 of 13 counts. The verdict came even though the 80-year lawmaker was neither in the room to plead his case nor did he have a legal representation fighting for him.
Rangel must now face the full ethics committee, which will hold a hearing to determine the appropriate punishment.
The ruling by the subcommittee came at the end of an eight-month battle, and was rendered despite the fact that Rangel’s Harlem constituents sent him back to Congress on Nov. 2.
Rangel, who is one of the founders of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he was treated unfairly by the subcommittee, because they would not grant him a postponement, after he said his lawyers refused to further represent him because he had no more money to pay them. Rangel walked out of the proceedings, after the refusal.
Among the charges the New York lawmaker faced were improperly soliciting money for a college center named after him; poor record keeping, and improper use of his Congressional stationery.
The possible sanctions against Rangel include a House vote deploring his conduct, a fine and/or a loss of some Congressional privileges.