Randy Neugebauer: Ethics Complaint Filed After Park Ranger Run-In

Friday, 04 Oct 2013 04:42 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has filed a complaint against U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer of Texas after he confronted a National Park Service ranger at the closed World War II Memorial on Wednesday.

World War II veterans had traveled from across the country to Washington, D.C. this week to see the memorial in what is part of the Honor Flights Network. The memorial, though, was closed by the park service due to the government shutdown this week.

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The incident with Neugebauer, which was caught on video, showed the Congressman asking a park ranger "How do you look at them and say – how do you deny them access? I don't get that." The park ranger responded, "It's difficult."

Neugebauer continued, "It should be difficult. The Park Service should be ashamed of themselves." When the park ranger said, "I'm not ashamed," Neugebauer shot back before walking away, "well, you should be."

"Obviously, the park police employee had no role whatsoever in the decision to shut down the federal government," wrote Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in their complaint to the Office of Congressional Ethics. "Rep. Neugebauer's conduct violates House Rule 23, which requires all members of the House to conduct themselves 'at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House."

Neugebauer told KCBD-TV in Lubbock on Thursday that the video with the park ranger was taken out of context and he was upset that the veterans could not get in to see the memorial and did not have a personal grudge with park ranger.

"My beef was not with the park ranger," Neugebauer told KCBD-TV. "My beef is with the parks department and this president, that they would deny these American heroes access to the World War II Memorial. When she told me it was the parks department, I said they should be ashamed of themselves – not her, personally, but the president should be ashamed that they would deny access to a freestanding memorial that doesn't require anybody to man that facility."

CREW's complaint, signed by its executive director Melanie Sloan, though, claimed that Neugebauer tried to use the weight of his title to influence the park ranger.

"Rep. Neugebauer abused his position as a member of the House by publicly assailing a federal employee who was acting in accordance with the will of the House," read the complaint.

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Related stories:

RNC Will Keep WWII Site Open; Rep. Mica Says Dismiss Parks Chiefs

Gov. Brewer Leads Push to Reopen Grand Canyon

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