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Richardson Is Only the Latest House Member to Face Punishment Richardson Is Only the Latest House Member to Face Punishment

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Richardson Is Only the Latest House Member to Face Punishment


Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif.(J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE/AP)

Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., who was reprimanded by the House of Representatives on Aug. 2, is only the latest member in the chamber's history to face an official punishment. 

Listed below are the House members over the years who have been censured, reprimanded or expelled — and the reasons why — based on information compiled from the websites of the House Ethics and Rules committees.


(Members who resigned or whose terms ended before action could be taken are not included.)


  • 1861 – Rep.-elect John B. Clark (Missouri): “[T]aken up arms against” the government of the United States; expelled, 94-45 (July 13, 1861)
  • 1861 – Rep. John W. Reid (Missouri): “[T]aken up arms against” the government of the United States; expelled, no vote recorded (December 2, 1861)
  • 1861 – Rep. Henry C. Burnett (Kentucky): “[O]pen rebellion” against the government of the United States; expelled, no vote recorded (December 3, 1861)
  • 1980 – Rep. Michael J. Myers (Pennsylvania): Convicted of bribery, conspiracy, and Travel Act violations (August 30, 1980); expelled, 376-30 (October 2, 1980)
  • 2002 – Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. (Ohio): Convicted of conspiracy to violate federal bribery and gratuity statutes, receipt of illegal gratuity, obstruction of justice, defrauding the government, racketeering, and tax evasion (April 11, 2002); adjudicatory hearing (July 15-17, 2002); sustained nine counts; unanimously recommended expulsion (July 18, 2002); expelled, 420-1 (July 24, 2002)


  • 1976 – Rep. Robert L.F. Sikes (Florida): Improper financial disclosure and conflict of interest; 44 members transmitted complaint by an outside organization (April 6, 1976); committee voted to conduct inquiry, 9-0 (April 9, 1976) found violations of House rules and Code of Ethics; reprimanded, voice vote (October 13, 1978); resigned (December 31, 1978)
  • 1978 – Rep. Edward J. Roybal (California): Failed to report campaign contribution, appropriated campaign funds for personal use, made false statement to Standards Committee (1974); reprimanded, voice vote (October 13, 1978)
  • 1984 – Rep. George V. Hansen (Idaho): Convicted of four counts of making false statements; reprimanded, 354-52 (July 31, 1984); conviction vacated in 1995
  • 1987 – Rep. Austin J. Murphy (Pennsylvania): Improperly used official resources and violated House rules regarding voting; reprimanded, 324-68 (December 18, 1987)
  • 1990 – Rep. Barney Frank (Massachusetts): Personal residence was used for prostitution by third parties, had improper contacts with probation office on behalf of personal assistant, improperly dismissed assistant’s parking tickets, and sexual activity in the House gymnasium; reprimanded, 408-18 (July 26, 1990)
  • 1997 – Rep. Newt Gingrich (Georgia): Complaint alleged improper use of official resources in preparation of a college course, conflict of interest, and improper use of tax-exempt entities in support of a college course (September 12, 1994); investigation was expanded to include allegations that Gingrich made false statements to Committee on Standards, his relationship with foundation/course violated foundation’s tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)3 of the IRS Code, he used unofficial resources for official purposes, and his activities and relationship with another foundation (September 26, 1995); reprimanded and directed to reimburse $300,000, 395-28 (January 21, 1997)
  • 2012 – Rep. Laura Richardson (California): Engaged in misconduct by forcing some of her office staff to work on her 2010 campaign


  • 1832 – Rep. William Stanberry (Ohio): Insulted Speaker during floor debate (July 9, 1832); censured, 92-44 (July 11, 1832)
  • 1836 – Rep. Sherrod Williams (Kentucky): Insulted chairman of the Committee of the Whole House during debate (July 2, 1836); censured without formal vote (July 2, 1836); House “reconsidered” censure (July 4, 1836)
  • 1842 – Rep. Joshua R. Giddings (Ohio): “[U]nwarranted and unwarrantable” conduct (presented a series of resolutions related to slavery and negotiations with Great Britain (March 21, 1842); censured, 125-69 (March 22, 1842); resigned (March 22, 1842); reelected (May 5, 1842)
  • 1856 – Rep. Orsamus B. Matteson (New York):“Defamed character of House” by accepting money in exchange for supporting a Minnesota land bill; censured, 145-17; expulsion resolution tabled (February 27, 1857); resigned prior to House action but was later reelected
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