November 3, 2011 9:07 p.m.
Ethics Committee voted Thursday to launch an investigation into whether Rep.
pressured her congressional staff to work on her campaign, adding to her
political troubles as she faces a tough reelection campaign next
The investigation is expected to be announced Friday. The panel,
equally divided between Democrats
largely operates in secret. Members voted unanimously to form a four-member
investigative subcommittee — with power to subpoena witnesses and documents — to
examine whether the Long Beach Democrat violated House standards of conduct. The
investigation is likely to take months.
A source familiar with the
preliminary inquiry discussed it on the condition of anonymity because of the
sensitivity of the issue. At least eight current and former Richardson staff
members told investigators they felt compelled to work on her 2010 reelection
campaign on their own time, the source said. Some said House resources, such as
congressional phones and copying machines, were used in the campaign, the source
In a statement late Thursday, Richardson confirmed the panel’s
action and accused it of “unjustly” targeting some members while overlooking the
well-publicized misuse of official House resources for personal purposes by
numerous other members of Congress.” She cited House members who sleep in their
offices, “saving tens of thousands of dollars personally at taxpayers’
Richardson, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus,
suggested she was a target because of her race and sex. She vowed “to 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.”
In the statement, she
reminded constituents that “less than one year ago, I was completely exonerated
after a similar investigation.”
That investigation concerned Richardson’s
dealings with a bank that canceled the sale of a foreclosed home she owned in
Sacramento. The controversy cast a spotlight on the financial affairs of the
congresswoman, 49, who defaulted on three homes.
couldn’t come at a worse time for Richardson. She is a victim of alleged
embezzlement by her campaign treasurer and is expected to face two fellow
Democrats, Rep. Janice Hahn and state
Assemblyman Isadore Hall, in the June primary. After redistricting, the district
stretches northeast from the L.A. Harbor area to South Gate.
for ethics violations can include reprimand, censure and expulsion from the
Congressional staff can work on campaigns on their own time “as
volunteers or for pay, as long as they do not do so in congressional offices or
facilities, or otherwise use official resources,” according to the ethics
committee. But “in no event may a member or office compel a House employee to do
Politico reported earlier this year that a former
Richardson district scheduler said in her resignation letter that “on more than
one occasion I was asked to do a task or coordinate an event that was on the
ethical borderline and not in my job description.”
congressional staff member to work on a campaign also may violate a federal law
that “covers intimidation to secure not only monetary contributions for a
political purpose, but anything of value,” including services, according to
advice to lawmakers on the committee website.
Richardson reportedly has
sought to remind the committee that when it investigated Rep. John Conyers Jr.
(D-Mich.) in 2006 on a similar issue, it closed the matter after he agreed to
clarify work rules with his staff. Conyers’ congressional staff members also
were prohibited from working on his campaign unless they took unpaid leave from
their government jobs and received ethics committee approval.
source with knowledge of the allegations against Richardson said their scope was
bigger than those against Conyers.
Richardson, a former Long Beach
councilwoman and state assemblywoman who was first elected to the House in 2007,
is the second Los Angeles lawmaker to come under ethics committee
The panel’s case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los
Angeles) remains unresolved 2 1/2 years after the investigation began. Waters is
accused of intervening on behalf of a bank where her husband owned stock and
served on the board. She denies wrongdoing, and an outside counsel has been
hired to investigate the committee’s conduct in the probe.
Laura Richardson was born on April 14th, 1962 according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laura_Richardson
April 14th, 1962
4 + 14 +1+9+6+2 = 36 = her life lesson = Abuse of power.
April 14th, 1962
4 + 14 +2+0+1+1 = 22 = her personal year (from April 14th, 2011 to April 13th, 2012) = Like a three ring circus.
find out your own numerology at: