Laura Richardson, the Democratic House member from the Long Beach area who is in a reelection fight, improperly used House resources for campaign and personal purposes and compelled congressional staff to work on her campaign, the House Ethics Committee's subcommittee on investigations said today in a report. Richardson also obstructed the investigation "through the alteration or destruction of evidence," the report says. From the LA Times account:
“Through her actions, she demonstrated a callous disregard for her staff and the resources entrusted to her by the American people,” the report says. “Her disrespect for boundaries between the official and the political realms, as well as the boundaries that define the Committee's jurisdiction, deserves a public reprimand."
Then House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) was the last House member reprimanded, in 1997. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) was censured in 2010 and then-Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) was expelled from the House in 2002.
The full House could vote as soon as Thursday to reprimand Richardson. She is locked in a reelection fight with another Democrat, Rep. Janice Hahn, and a public rebuke by her colleagues won't help. The district has been redrawn since Richardson last ran. Hahn finished first in the primary by a sizable lead.