Charles Rangel convicted of ethics violations

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Representative Charles Rangel, Congress’s former chief tax writer, was convicted by a congressional panel on Tuesday of ethics violations, many dealing with personal finances.

A congressional ethics subcommittee found the veteran representative guilty of 11 counts, including failing to report rental income and improper use of a rent-stabilized apartment and soliciting charitable donations from people with business before Congress.

The panel’s chairwoman, Democrat Zoe Lofgren, said there was “clear and convincing evidence” against Rangel, 80, from New York.

The House of Representative Ethics Committee -- five Democrats and five Republicans -- will now consider punishment, which ethics experts predict will likely be censure or reprimand by the full House, possibly later this week.

With the panel’s chief counsel finding “no evidence of corruption” and attributing Rangel’s misdeeds largely to being “sloppy in his personal finances,” it is not expected to recommend he be expelled from Congress.

Rangel resigned in March as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee after being admonished for corporate-sponsored trips in violation of House gift rules.

While Democrats lost control of the House to Republicans in the November 2 midterm elections, Rangel won a 21st two-year term in his New York City district with 80 percent of the vote.

Editing by Peter Cooney