The House ethics committee says in a three-page report that Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., “violated the House gift rule” by accepting travel to Antigua in November 2007 and St. Maarten in November 2008 paid for by corporate funds.
The committee, formally known as the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, said that Rangel did not know that corporate funds were used to pay for the trips, which were sponsored and organized by Carib News and the Carib News Foundation. But members of Rangel’s staff “knew that corporations had contributed funds to Carib News specifically for the 2007 and 2008 conferences.”
Representative Rangel was responsible for the knowledge and actions of his staff in the performance of their official duties. It is the intention of the Committee that publication of this report will serve as a public admonishment by the Standards Committee of Representative Rangel.
The report cleared five others saying that they “properly relied on the information provided to them by the officers and employees of Carib News and the Carib News Foundation in seeking and receiving pre-trip approval from the committee to accept these trips.” They are Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.; Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y.; Donald Payne, D-N.J., Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich.; and Delegate Donna Christensen, D-V.I.