House Ethics Panel Announces Three Charges Against Maxine Waters

August 9, 2010

(ChattahBox)—Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) has been charged with three counts of violating House ethics rules, all relating to her actions on behalf of a failing bank in the midst of the worst of the nation’s financial crisis. Waters, as a member of the Black Caucus and member of the House banking panel, seeking federal help for a minority-owned banking institution is nothing out of the ordinary. But Waters’ actions sparked an investigation, because her husband previously served on the board of directors, and he also owned stock in the bank, which dropped from $350,000 to $175,000, during the near economic collapse. Without federal help, her husband was in danger of losing his entire investment. Waters, recognizing there may be a conflict of interest, stepped away from direct involvement with OneUnited Bank, but her grandson, Mikael Moore, acting as her chief of staff, continued to intervene on behalf of the bank.

The 10-pages of formal charges point to her grandson’s involvement in seeking TARP money for OneUnited Bank:

“Waters, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, helped arrange a meeting in September 2008 between Massachusetts-based OneUnited Bank and Treasury Department officials, according to ethics investigators. OneUnited Bank ultimately received $12 million in bailout funds.”

“According to the report, Waters’ husband owned almost 4,000 shares of OneUnited stock at the time of the meeting. The shares declined in value from more than $350,000 in June to $175,000 at the end of September — the height of the Wall Street financial crisis.”

After Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA), chairman of the Financial Services Committee, informed Waters that her intervention on behalf of OneUnited presented a conflict of interest, she agreed to back off, but her grandson-chief of staff continued.

“The report released Monday stated that Waters “agreed to refrain from advocating on behalf of OneUnited,” but failed to instruct her chief of staff, Mikael Moore, from doing so.”

Waters, 71, has served 10 terms in Congress. She is requesting an immediate trial before the November elections.


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