Vern Buchanan Cleared of Ethics Charge

July 11, 2012

By , Herald-Tribune

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan will face no penalties from his colleagues in Congress for failing to accurately disclose more than a dozen positions with companies and organizations for the past four years.

The House Ethics Committee released a seven-page report on Tuesday saying Buchanan failed to report all the posts he held and all income earned by those entities as required by House rules.

But the 10-member committee, led by chairman Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Alabama,ruled that the omissions were not intentional and that Buchanan ultimately corrected four years of financial disclosure reports when the errors were first discovered by the Office of Congressional Ethics.

“There has been no evidence or allegation presented to the Committee that Representative Buchanan’s failure to file correct and complete information was either knowing or willful,” the Ethics Committee Report released Tuesday stated.

Buchanan is far from out of the woods yet. Another potentially more serious Ethics Committee inquiry and a U.S. Justice Department review are still hanging over the three-term Congressman up for re-election in November.

Buchanan declined to be interviewed on Tuesday, but his Congressional office released a statement saying that Buchanan was pleased with Ethics Committee’s action. In the statement, communications director Max Goodman pointed out that the Ethics Committee’s report showed up to half of all financial disclosure documents submitted to Congress have errors that require amendments.

Buchanan’s corrected financial disclosure reports show he held positions with 16 businesses or organizations that he previously failed to fully report to Congress as required by House rules.

In addition, Buchanan corrected his titles with another 20 businesses and organizations, according to the reports covering four years that were filed with the Clerk of the House last September.

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