I Goofed, Admits Often Troubled Democrat RichardsonBy My Opinion @ 2:00 PM August 01, 2012
From Harry Saltzgaver
U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson
U.S. Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) has been reprimanded for misconduct and fined $10,000 by the House Committee on Ethics.
She has agreed to admit to seven counts of House rules violations and to waive her right to a public ethics trial.
Ms. Richardson frequently has been in ethical trouble in Sacramento and Washington. She was accused of improperly using House resources – staff – for campaign, personal and non-official purposes.
Her troubles mount in the midst of another campaign heavily shadowed by numerous ethical questions. Ms. Richardson is running for re-election against another Democratic Congresswoman, Janice Hahn, for the newly formed 44th District. Ms. Hahn defeated Ms. Richardson by nearly 20 points in the primary. They are matched again for November because they were the only candidates.
Committee Chair Linda Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) said Ms. Richardson had agreed to admit to seven counts in the statement of violation and waived further procedural rights in the investigation, according to Committee Chair Linda Sanchez (D-Garden Grove).
She allegedly forced staff to perform campaign work on office time, and used office resources for partisan campaigns. She also was charged with obstructing the committee's investigation by altering or destroying evidence, refusing to produce requested information and attempting to influence witnesses' testimony.
The charges stem from both Ms. Richardson's 2010 campaign and her lopsided losing primary campaign this year.
Ms. Richardson served six years on the Long Beach City Council before being elected to the state Assembly. Nine months later, she won a special election for the 55th Congressional District seat after the death of U.S. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-Long Beach). She won reelection in 2008 and 2010.
The latest ruling and negotiated agreement with the Committee on Ethics results only in the reprimand from the full House of Representatives and the fine, but no further censure.
Mr. Saltgaver is executive editor of Long Beach-based Gazette Newspapers. Additional reporting by the Washington Times.