By Jordy Yager – The Hill
The House Ethics Committee announced on Wednesday that Rep. Maxine Watersâ€™s (D-Calif.) rights were not violated in its investigation of her and its case will proceed.
Waters is next in line to fill Rep. Barney Frankâ€™s (D-Mass.) position as the top Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee next year when Frank retires. An ethics conviction could jeopardize her ascension to the post.
In a letter to Waters, the committee wrote to inform the lawmaker that it had considered the 12 allegations of misconduct her lawyer had presented against the panel and found that none of them was in violation of House or committee rules.
â€œThe outside counsel has concluded, and the Committee has unanimously found that you have been afforded notice and the opportunity to be heard,â€ wrote Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the panelâ€™s acting chairman on the Waters case, and Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), the committeeâ€™s ranking member.
“As such, there has been no violation of the due process rights to which you are entitled. Even when the allegations are considered in their totality, there is still no violation of the process which you are due, and the Committee is entitled to continue its consideration of your matter,â€ the lawmakers wrote.
For more than two years, the committee has investigated whether Waters violated House rules after allegations surfaced that she secured funding for a bank in which her husband own stock. Waters has maintained her innocence.
As the committee moved toward holding a trial for Waters in late 2010, the panel halted abruptly and placed two of its lead attorneys on administrative leave. Shortly afterward, the committeeâ€™s chief counsel stepped down.
The first half of 2011 was spent in a flurry of firing and reorganizing among the panelâ€™s investigative and legal staff, which included the hiring of a new chief counsel.
In July, the committee announced it was hiring outside attorney Billy Martin to investigate whether members and staff on the panel had acted inappropriately in the Waters case.
To read more, visit:Â http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/231241-waters-case-will-proceed
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