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Thursday, August 2, 2012

House Reprimands Richardson


After hearing Representative Laura Richardson speak in her own defense, the House of Representatives on Thursday briskly approved a report by its Ethics Committee to reprimand her for compelling her Congressional staff to do campaign work. The resolution, which imposes a fine of $10,000 and which she had agreed to accept, passed on a voice vote.

In remarks that reflected a detailed statement that she had submitted earlier to the committee, Ms. Richardson, a California Democrat in an uphill fight to retain a seat in the House, said that she had never told staff members that they would have to work for her campaign office or lose their government jobs.

But leaders of the committee said they had already taken her version of events into account. Their scathing report, adopted unanimously by the bipartisan committee and released on Wednesday, roundly rejected her assertions.

The committee chairman, Representativ e Jo Bonner of Alabama, noted that members of her staff had continued for the past two years to complain to the committee about their treatment. One, he said, was a war veteran who said it would be better to deploy to Afghanistan than to work for a corrupt legislative office.