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Congresswoman Waters cleared by House committee


A House ethics committee has cleared California Congresswoman Maxine  Waters of violating congressional rules and, according to some reports,  the South Los Angeles Democrat can now seek the top post on the House  Committee on Financial Services in the next Congress.

The  tentative findings were announced Friday by the House Committee on  Ethics, after a three-year probe into allegations that Waters approached  Treasury Department secretary Henry Paulson in 2008 seeking a bailout  of a bank, OneUnited, where her husband Sidney Williams was once on the  board and also held $350 million in stock.

The formal investigation began in July 2009.
The  decision was announced in a joint statement by the acting chairman and  acting ranking member of the House Committee on Ethics.

“The  committee has unanimously determined that the evidence does not  establish, to the standard of clear and convincing evidence, that Rep.  Waters violated House rules. It appears that Rep. Waters recognized and  made efforts to avoid a conflict of interest with respect to OneUnited.

“However,  the committee has also unanimously determined that Rep. Waters’ chief  of staff, Mikael Moore, took certain actions on behalf of OneUnited when  he knew, or should have known, of Rep. Waters’ personal financial  interest, despite Rep. Waters’ instructions to avoid the conflict.  Accordingly, the committee unanimously voted to issue a letter of  reproval to Mr. Moore for his conduct.”

Waters, maintained that she was seeking relief for all minority-owned banks.

During  the course of the investigation, committee staff attorneys leaked  information in 2010 to Republican committee members, which forced  Speaker John Boehner to create a new investigative