The “Lion of Harlem” has been chastened.
After only two days of deliberations, a House ethics subcommittee has found New York Congressman Charles Rangel guilty of 11 ethics violations.
The 40-year veteran of Congress was convicted on charges ranging from failure to pay taxes on his Dominican Republic villa to seeking donations from people with business before Congress.
Rangel, who walked out on the committee hearing yesterday in protest, said the ruling was unfair. He blamed some of his mistakes on bad bookkeeping.
The full House ethics committee will now decide on a punishment within days; Rangel could be expelled but that is considered very unlikely. It is more likely he will be reprimanded or censured, said experts.
Rangel’s bad behavior doesn’t deter some of his staunchest Harlem supporters.
“In the bigger scheme of things, of all the scandals that are out there, these are not that big,” said Harlem resident James Ford, 65, who campaigned for Rangel and said he will bring him a bouquet of flowers this week to show his support.
“I’m not saying he’s not guilty,” Ford added. “He did some stupid things.”
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