Ethics Group Calls from Criminal Probe of US Rep

Wednesday, 29 Jun 2011 12:23 PM

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The group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington is calling for a criminal investigation into allegations that Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., forced her staff to work on her campaign and contribute to it.

The group, known as CREW, says it has e-mails to prove their charges, The Washington Post reported.

“Internal emails regarding a fundraising event dubbed ‘Democratic Idol’ show Richardson Chief of Staff Shirley Cooks told employees they were required to attend the event, wearing staff shirts embroidered with the phrase ‘37th Congressional District,’” CREW said according to the Post. “In an email from her official House account, Ms. Cooks stated that spouses and interns were expected to attend as well.”

The congresswoman’s office denied the charge and said, “Nothing in the CREW letter or its exhibits support the allegations that Congresswoman Richardson ever forced or coerced members of her staff to engage in campaign activity. As this office has previously confirmed, staff were interviewed by the House Ethics Committee in November 2010. The Congresswoman and her staff have fully cooperated,” the Post reported.

Richardson was investigated by the House ethics committee in 2009 over alleged improprieties stemming from a home foreclosure. She was unanimously cleared in that matter in July 2010, the Post reported.


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