The alleged violations of House standards of conduct also include using congressional letterhead to solicit donations for a center for public service to bear Rangel's name on the New York campus of the City College of New York.Rangel was also accused of accepting a rent-stabilized property in Manhattan for his campaign office and initially not paying federal taxes on the Dominican Republic property.The ethics panel said Rangel failed to report rental income on his original tax returns for 1998 through 2006 from the Dominican Republic villa. It also said he violated federal laws in addition to House ethics rules, including the 1989 Ethics Reform Act, Postal Service laws and government service codes.The ethics charges, agreed upon after a two-year probe, were read in a public session of the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, as the ethics committee is formally known.
Rangel had repeatedly said he looked forward to a public discussion of the current allegations. A four-member investigating panel, with separate members from the judging subcommittee, brought the charges.The 42-member Congressional Black Caucus has warned Democrats against a rush to judgment, and any lawmaker with a significant African-American constituency must consider whether it's worth asking Rangel to quit.However, some Democratic House members in close races may think it's more important to distance themselves from Rangel. They don't want to have to answer negative Republican ads about Pelosi's promise to wipe Congress clean of ethical misdeeds.