Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) filed new financial disclosure reports showing that he failed to report more than $660,000 in assets during 2007, a potential violation of House ethics rules.
Rangel, Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, also had previously stated that he sold a Florida condominium in 2007, but an amended report covering that year – filed in mid-August – now makes no mention of that transaction. It appears that Rangel no longer owns the condo as it is not listed on his 2008 financial report, filed last month.
The House Ethics Committee is already looking into Rangel’s use of several rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury Harlem apartment building, his failure to fully pay taxes on a vacation home in the Dominican Republic, and the lawmaker’s fundraising on behalf of the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College in New York City. The committee recently broadened the Rangel investigation to include Caribbean trips taken by Rangel and four other lawmakers.
Rangel has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, but the new financial-disclosure reports for 2007 show at least $662,000 in previously undeclared assets held by the lawmaker. These assets include several “empty” lots in Glassboro, N.J., valued at more than $3,000; a stock fund worth at least $250,000; an IRA account with more than $250,000 in assets; and investment fund account worth between $50,000 and $100,000.
Rangel also downgraded – without explaining why – the value of his Dominican Republican vacation home. In his original version of the 2007 report, Rangel declared that home was worth between $250,000 to $500,000, while in the lasted version, it was valued at between $100,000 to $250,000.
I’m certainly glad that Speaker Pelosi has cleaned up that “culture of corruption” she referred to upon becoming Speaker. One has to wonder when the ethics charges in this case should become criminal charges.