*Monday, the House Ethics Committee revealed the three counts of alleged ethics violations against Democratic California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. They include a charge that she had requested federal help for a bank where her husband owned stock and had served on its board.
Waters, a 10-term representative from Los Angeles, has denied any wrongdoing and had urged the committee to come forth with details of the charges so that she can defend herself in a trial expected to take place this fall.
The case revolves around whether she helped OneUnited Bank obtain federal bailout funds in late 2008. Her husband, Sidney Williams, served as a member of OneUnited’s board of directors from January 2004 to April 2008, and was a stockholder in the bank.
In the wake of the House Ethics Committee revealing the charges against Waters, the Congresswoman from South LA is showing her defiant side. She spoke exclusively with TheGrio.com. She says absolutely “No deals! I’m not going to the backroom”:
California Congresswoman Maxine Waters has taken a virtually unprecedented step. She is challenging the House Ethics Committee to fully release the entire report on her alleged ethics violation.
The charge is that Waters used her influence to get the Treasury to funnel $12 million to One United Bank that her husband once sat on the board of directors of and had stock in. The bank is a member of the National Bankers Association, the minority banking assn. Waters asked the Treasury for a meeting with the NBA in September 2008. This violated the House code of conduct rule that states: Members ”may not permit compensation to accrue to the beneficial interest of such individual from any source, the receipt of which would occur by virtue of influence improperly exerted from the position of such individual in Congress.”
The ethics committee wraps its investigations in a thick cloud of secrecy. It literally takes an act of Congress to get the committee to publicly reveal the details of the case it makes against one of its own. That’s the case again with Waters. The committee completed its investigation, and published its eyes only report on Waters in August 2009.
In this exclusive interview with theGrio, Waters’ discusses the ethics charges against her, the targeting of Congressional Black Caucus members for ethics violations, the effect on the Democratic Party, her constituents, and this fall’s midterm elections.
theGrio: The House’s Office of Congressional Ethics charges against you were initially made more than one year ago. Why are they just being made public now?
Rep. Maxine Waters: We have asked the ethics committee the same question. Why has it taken so long to bring the charges? The OCE report was made public just as the House was going into a six week summer break. That hurt, because there’s no real opportunity to contest the charges and that’s not fair. So that’s why we have publicly demanded that the committee release the full report that contains the specific charges.
Many wonder because of the long time gap before release, if there were any new charges?
There are none. There’s… (Read More Here)