Skip to comments.Ethics Office Closes Inquiry Into Murtha, Dicks and Moran
Posted on 12/18/2009 1:12:02 PM PST by jazusamo
The Office of Congressional Ethics has closed its investigation into Reps. John Murtha (D-Pa.), Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) and their relationships to the lobbying firm PMA Group, and the OCE advised against a formal House ethics investigation, the lawmakers offices said Friday.
George Behan, Dicks chief of staff, said the OCE, which reviews potential rules violations and refers investigations to the House ethics committee, informed the Washington lawmaker on Dec. 2 that it had recommended the inquiry be dismissed.
In his case, there was never anything there, Behan said.
Murtha spokesman Matt Mazonkey and Moran spokeswoman Emily Blout confirmed their respective lawmakers received similar letters.
The OCE has never publicly confirmed its investigation into PMA, but a confidential ethics document leaked in October showed the office reviewing seven lawmakers Dicks, Murtha and Moran, as well as Reps. Peter Visclosky (D-Ind.), Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio), Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) and Bill Young (R-Fla.) in the matter.
According to a copy of that document published on the Web site Wikileaks.org, the OCE investigation focused on whether Members accepted contributions or other items of value from PMAs political action committee in exchange for official acts.
PMA employees and clients were leading donors to Murtha, Visclosky, Moran, Dicks and other appropriators, and received multiple earmarks from these and other Members.
Ethics committee leaders acknowledge a document leak in October but have not confirmed the authenticity of the Wikileaks-published document. The Committee on Standards on Official Conduct as the ethics panel is formally known announced its own review of PMA in June but has not named any lawmakers under review to date or even which House rules infractions it is examining.
Although the OCE did not recommended further review of Murtha and Dicks, the ethics committee could nonetheless opt to continue its own investigation or to pursue information provided by the OCE.
Under ethics committee rules, the panel has up to 90 days a mandatory 45-day period and an optional 45-day extension to review the OCEs recommendation.
In most circumstances, the panel must release the OCEs report at the end of its review, unless it opts to open a formal investigation. In the event that the OCE recommends an investigation for dismissal, however, the ethics committee is not required to publicize the OCEs report if it likewise votes to dismiss the matter. If the ethics committee disagrees and votes to pursue the investigation, it must ultimately release the OCEs report.
Ethics panel Staff Director Blake Chisam declined to comment for this story, stating: The committee does not comment on matters that may or may not be before it.
It is not known whether OCE has recommended further investigation in the case of other lawmakers named in the leaked ethics report. None of those offices immediately returned telephone calls Friday afternoon.
FBI agents raided the defense appropriations-focused PMA in November 2008, reportedly as part of an investigation into improper campaign contributions.
Visclosky had previously confirmed in May that his offices and aides had been subpoenaed by federal investigators examining the Indiana lawmakers relationship with PMA.
Conclusion: Another whitewash.
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Is anyone surprised?
Pure contradiction in terms: Congressional Ethics
Murtha Dicks Moran...what a headline...
Well (dusting off hands) that’s that. ....and ‘they’ wonder why so many American’s are dissatisfied and down right angry. Murtha and his air port should have had at the very least an investigation.........
Just more of the transparancy and high ethical standards that bammy and nancy promised. Barf.
Ethics panel Staff Director Blake Chisam declined to comment for this story, stating: That yellow fiend Kato is preparing to ambush me!
Communists protecting communists. Nothing new. RATS do not have laws they have to respect. America is done unless these RATS are in jail.
Yep, there’s no one in the House more blatant than Murtha about pay to play and it’s obvious to everyone. This is disappointing but not unexpected and just maybe the FBI investigation will finally nail him.
At what point do citizens decide that paying money for circus of fraud, arrogance, detachment from the people and waste becomes intolerable?
I mean, at what point does a citizen throw crates over the rail and become looked at as a criminal to a state that knows no rules?
I have a feeling this coming tax season will be marginally different.
Just another board in the edifice of the most corrupt congress in history. There is one thing democrats are very good at...corruption.
Nothing to see here, move along, move along.
Your time is coming, progressives.
It’ll be an election or a revolution.
Now there’s a real surprise?
What we need is a good old revolution with the citizens as the judges. A few public examples and we roust the rest of the trash out and we can start to representatives in the congress that actually live to our values.
The American voter is still to blame.
Sadly, you’re right. In Murtha’s case most of the majority that keep reelecting him are willing to sell their soul for the pork.
Firgures. Our open honest govment at work.
Next up; Charley Rangel. But will he settle for the word 'whitewash'?
Agreed. I never expected anything else in a Dem controlled Congress.
Unless of course it was a Pubbie, then full steam ahead.
who would have thunk it?
This guy has his locks in tight.