Rangel Defends Actions on College Center in Complaint

July 23, 2008

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday followed through on his promise to file an ethics complaint against himself, but he also offered a vigorous defense of his effort to solicit support for a New York City educational center bearing his name.

The powerful Ways and Means Committee chairman acknowledged in a missive to the House ethics committee that he sent out more than 100 letters on congressional letterhead that asked leaders of charitable foundations, companies and businesses to support the City College of New York (CCNY).

A top Rangel aide hand-delivered the four-page letter with a five-page addendum late Wednesday morning. In it, the lawmaker asked the panel to determine whether he had “inadvertently failed to comply with the House Ethics Rules regarding the use of congressional letterhead.”

The letter requesting a ruling from the ethics panel conspicuously failed to address a separate and possibly more serious issue raised in articles in The New York Times: Rangel’s use of four rent-controlled apartments (one of them as a campaign office) in Harlem’s Lenox Terrace building.

Read more: (Susan Crabtree, “Rangel Defends Actions on College Center in Complaint He Filed with Ethics Officials,” The Hill, 7/23/08)