Tags: Tom Petri | Wisconsin | ethics | contractor

Rep. Tom Petri to Face Additional Ethics Review

By    |   Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:46 PM

Rep. Tom Petri of Wisconsin may soon face a deeper ethics investigation after an Office of Congressional Ethics inquiry urged further review of the lawmaker's efforts to intervene on behalf of a defense contractor in which he owned about $250,000 in stock, the New York Times reports.

The OCE on Tuesday released its findings after a lengthy review, urging the House Ethics Committee to take a deeper look into Petri's conduct when he signed off on a letter from the Oshkosh Corp. over a contract dispute with the Defense Department.

Petri, 74, is also under review after he also purportedly intervened on behalf of a second Wisconsin company, Manitowoc, asking the EPA to allow it a "hardship exemption" to continue manufacturing diesel-engine cranes — noting that forcing them to use equipment that was more environmentally friendly could cut jobs.

Amid the call for further review, his attorney defended Petri's conduct in a letter to the chairman of the Committee on Ethics, Rep. K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and its ranking member, Rep. Linda T. Sanchez, D-Calif..

Attorney Robert K. Kelner, seeking a dismissal of the inquiry, wrote: "In every instance, Representative Petri has made a good-faith effort to comply fully with both the letter and the spirit of the rules and the guidance his staff received."

The conflict-of-interest investigation comes as Petri, a Republican now in his 18th term, retires from Congress, National Journal noted.

Petri expressed anger that the investigation would continue.

"I am deeply disappointed that the Ethics Committee has not yet resolved this case once and for all," Petri responded as news broke of the committee's findings.

"But I remain hopeful that the Ethics Committee — and anyone objectively reviewing the record — will conclude that I have acted properly and complied with House rules. Any suggestion to the contrary by the Office of Congressional Ethics report is untrue, biased, and incomplete."

Petri added: "Allowing the OCE report to stand as the so-called last word is certainly unfair to my record of public service."

The lengthy investigation has cost the veteran lawmaker plenty, Gannett reported in July, noting that Petri spent about $140,000 from his campaign fund to pay his attorneys.

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Rep. Tom Petri of Wisconsin may soon face a deeper ethics investigation after an Office of Congressional Ethics inquiry urged further review of the lawmaker's efforts to intervene on behalf of a defense contractor in which he owned about $250,000 in stock, the New York Times reports.
Tom Petri, Wisconsin, ethics, contractor
360
2014-46-01
Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 07:46 PM
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