Rep. Charles Rangel is suing Speaker of the House John Boehner over his 2010 censure for numerous illegal actitivites.
Rangel's lawsuit aims to overturn that censure, according to USA Today, with the lawsuit claiming the ethics investigation involved "numerous, flagrant, knowing and intentional violations" of Rangel's right to due process, including the committee withholding a memo written by former staffers arguing the investigation was tainted by misconduct. Had Rangel known about the memo, the lawsuit says, he would've immediately moved to dismiss the investigation.
The censure covered a wide range of activities, including using a rent-controlled apartment in Harlem as a campaign office, using congressional stationery and staff to solicit funds for an academic center named after Rangel and failing to pay taxes on rental income for 17 years.
A spokesman for Boehner didn't respond to a request for comment from Bloomberg News.
Then there was his vacation property in the Dominican Republic:
Ever since the NY Times reported that Representative Charles Rangel had four rent-stabilized apartments--three for living quarters and one for an office--his real-estate holdings have been scrutinized. Now the NY Post puts a dozing Rangel on its cover for a story about his vacation property in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel owns a beachfront villa that is apparently rented out to resort goers at the Punta Cana Hotel, but the Post says he "has only sporadically declared income on the property in federal filings." The three-bedroom, three-bath villa "is rented for between $500 in the low season to $1,100 a night in the busiest tourist season." The hotel's staff says that Rangel's villa had been available in 2006 and 2007 (the hotel is "always booked solid" on Rangel's villa), but Rangel claimed, "I have not received any rental income. There wasn't any rental income."
Rangel did report rental income on the villa between 2001 and 2005. One possible explanation is that rental income was put back into the resort (for repairs or other maintenance), but a watchdog group tells the Post that reinvesting rental income "would have to be disclosed."
After the rent-stabilized apartment bonanza was revealed, Rangel gave up the one used as an office, saying he was going to move anyway. Of course, it was discovered other rent-stabilized tenants had been pressured to leave the same complex. And earlier this month, the Sun had an editorial wondering why politicians with rent-stabilized apartments seem to have second homes.
In the immortal words of the jury foreman in Mel Brook's "The Producers," - "We find the defendant incredibly guilty."
Rangel is a crooked pol who should have been booted out of Congress like his predecessor Adam Clayton Powell. The fact that he's now suing to have his censure overturned is outrageous.
If Rangel is successful, they should re-open his ethics case and go through it all again to remind people what a greedy s.o.b. he is. And just to make sure he doesn't cause any more trouble, this time, give him the boot and kick him to the gutter where he belongs.