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Ethics Panel Recommends Richardson Reprimand Ethics Panel Recommends Richardson Reprimand

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Leadership

Ethics Panel Recommends Richardson Reprimand

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Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., has had two full-scale investigations in two years.(J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP)

AP110512077337.jpgThe House Ethics Committee is recommending that the House reprimand Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., for official misconduct that it says includes forcing congressional aides to work on her campaign and covering up those actions by destroying evidence and "attempting to influence the testimony of witnesses." 

Along with the reprimand - the committee is recommending that Richardson also be required to pay a fine of $10,000 by Dec. 1.

Ethics Committee Chairman Jo Bonner, R-Ala., and ranking member Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., made the announcement Wednesday. 

They say Richardson has already agreed in negotiations with the panel to admit to all seven counts contained in a "Statement of Alleged Violation" leveled by an investigative subcommittee of their panel, and waived all further procedural rights. 

Among Richardson's misconduct, they say, was improper use of House resources for campaign, personal and non-official purposes; requiring or compelling her official staff to perform campaign work. She also was found to have obstructed the ethics investigation through the "alteration or destruction of evidence, (and) deliberate failure to produce documents to requests for information and subpoena. 

In addition, the committee has issued separate letter of reproval to two employees tied to the matter.

There was no immediate comment from Richardson's office.

Bonner and Sanchez said the full committee on Tuesday unanimously accepted on the investigative subcommittee's recommendations, including that the Ethics Committee submit a public report to the House, "and that the adoption of that report serves as a reprimand of Rep. Richardson for misconduct."

"Therefore, the Committee on Ethics has unanimously recommended that the House of Representatives adopt the report, and with it, a reprimand of Representative Richardson for the conduct described," they state.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's, R-Va., office did not immediately respond to a question of whether the House will take up a vote on the Ethics report.

Photo: In this May 12, 2011 file photo, Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif. is seen outside the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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