The House Ethics Committee announced on Thursday it has unanimously agreed to again extend the contract of Washington lawyer Billy Martin as outside counsel for the ongoing investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.
With the extension, which lasts until Congress adjourns sine die, the Ethics Committee could have to pay Martin $500,000 more. The announcement all but confirms that Martin’s total tab in the case, which Martin was hired for in July 2011, will exceed $1 million.
The committee's action signals that it is not close to resolving the investigation that focuses on whether Water improperly intervened on behalf of a bank in which her husband owned stock and had served on the board.
Martin was hired after reports of internal committee dysfunction and accusations of professional misconduct surfaced, prompting six panel members to recuse themselves, including Chairman Jo Bonner, R-Ala., and ranking member Linda Sanchez, D-Calif. Yet, the committee has said that Martin's review has found no committee bias, and that Water’s due process rights were not violated.
“It is the intent of the committee in this matter that the final resolution and report should thoroughly address the many questions that have been raised,” explains the statement released by acting Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and and acting ranking member John Yarmuth, D-Ky.
“Mr. Martin will continue to work closely with the committee as it attempts to complete this matter,” they said.