Ethics panel No full probe of McMorris Rodgers

first_imgWASHINGTON — The House Ethics Committee said Monday it will not appoint a special panel to investigate allegations that Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the fourth-highest ranking House Republican, improperly combined campaign and official funds in a GOP leadership race and her re-election campaign.The committee’s top two leaders, Reps. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said they will not formally drop the case against McMorris Rodgers, but will continue to review the matter under their own authority. In practical terms, the decision means it is unlikely that McMorris Rodgers will face charges or sanctions.Separately, the ethics panel said it also will not appoint a special panel to investigate Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma. Mullin was alleged to have improperly received outside income totaling $600,000 last year from a weekly radio talk show and family-owned plumbing business. Both cases were forwarded to the Ethics Committee’s attention by the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, which reviews complaints against House members.The ethics office said it found “substantial reason to believe” the allegations in both cases.McMorris Rodgers, 44, of Washington state, is the highest-ranking Republican woman in the House. She delivered the GOP response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in January.Her attorney, Elliot Berke, said the complaint against her was based on “frivolous allegations from a single source — a former employee who then discredited himself by admitting to his own improper conduct.”last_img read more