House Committee May Spend $1 Million on Lawyer for Waters Query

Thursday, 02 Aug 2012 02:10 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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The House Ethics Committee may spend more than $1 million on an outside lawyer’s investigation of Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

The secretive committee voted Thursday to continue the contract for Billy Martin, who has cost taxpayers more than $800,000 since being hired last July to investigate charges against Waters and the ethics panel itself, The Hill reports.

Martin announced in June that his investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of the Ethics Committee, after charges that the panel might have been biased against Waters. Nonetheless, the panel decided to pay Martin up to an additional $500,000 through year-end. So taxpayers could be on the hook for $1.3 million in total.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama For Mishandling Economy. See What They Did.

“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,” acting Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Av., and acting ranking member John Yarmuth, D-Ky., said in a statement.

The committee has examined for two years whether Waters broke House rules after reports that she assisted a bank in which her husband owned stock. Waters says she’s innocent.

As the committee moved close to conducting a trial for Waters late in 2010, the panel suddenly stopped its work on the case, putting two of its lawyers on administrative leave. Shortly thereafter, the committee’s chief counsel quit.

The panel’s investigative and legal staff turned over right and left in the first six months of 2011. A new chief counsel was hired.

Then in July, the committee hired Martin to determine whether its members and staff acted properly in the Waters case.

Editor's Note: Economist Unapologetically Calls Out Bernanke, Obama For Mishandling Economy. See What They Did.


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