Posted on November 7, 2011

Ethics Committee to Investigate Rep. Richardson

Larry Margasak, Associated Press, November 4, 2011

Rep. Laura Richardson charged Friday the House Ethics Committee has singled her out for scrutiny because she’s African-American.

Richardson, D-Calif., effectively announced the committee’s investigation before the panel revealed it, accusing fellow lawmakers of ignoring wrongdoing by others in order to focus on her.

The Ethics Committee is looking into whether she improperly used staff for political purposes.

The committee is composed of five members from each party. The ranking Democrat is a Hispanic, Rep. Linda Sanchez of California. Other Democratic members are Rep. Donna Edwards, an African-American from Maryland; Rep. Pedro Pierluisi, who represents Puerto Rico; John Yarmuth of Kentucky; and Joe Courtney of Connecticut. The five Republicans are all white men. {snip}

Since the beginning of 2010, an Associated Press count shows the House Ethics Committee has announced investigations or investigative results for at least 33 House members, 12 of whom are African-American. There are 43 African-Americans in the 435-member House. {snip}


Richardson also said she would “explore the issue of whether the Ethics Committee has engaged in discriminatory conduct in pursuing two investigations against me while simultaneously failing to apply the same standards to, or take the same actions against, other members–of whom the overwhelming majority are white males.”