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Archive for Friday, October 30, 2009

Ethics panel starts probes, gets hacked

October 30, 2009

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— The House ethics committee announced Thursday it is investigating two California Democratic lawmakers, but its embarrassed leaders then had to explain that other members — named in a confidential memo that leaked out — may have committed no wrongdoing.

The committee said it is investigating whether Rep. Maxine Waters used her influence to help a bank in which her husband owned stock, and whether the couple benefited as a result.

Separately, the panel is investigating whether Rep. Laura Richardson failed to disclose required information on her financial disclosure forms and received special treatment from a lender.

As the House was conducting scheduled votes Thursday, ethics chairwoman Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., announced that a confidential weekly report of the committee from July had leaked out. A committee statement said its security was breached through “peer to peer file sharing software” by a junior employee who was working from home. The staff member was fired.

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