Charges against Rep. Maxine Waters revealed

SOUTH LOS ANGELES The Waters case revolves around whether she helped /*OneUnited Bank*/ obtain $12 million in federal bailout funds in late 2008. Her husband, Sidney Williams, is a former board member and stockholder in the bank.

Waters confirmed she called top treasury officials to set up a meeting with representatives from the /*National Bankers Association*/, a trade group representing minority-owned banks. That meeting took place in September 2008 and centered on OneUnited Bank.

"I did not attend the meeting, the TARP (/*Troubled Asset Relief Program*/) program was not in existence at the time of the meeting and the Treasury Department officials have stated that any decisions they made about distributing TARP funds eventually was certainly not influenced by me," Waters said.

But the House ethics committee sees it another way and has filed three counts of alleged ethics violations, as detailed in its report.

  • The first count says Waters violated House rules that members, shall behave at all times in a manner that shall "reflect credibility on the House."
  • The second count pertains to the use of improper influence that results in a personal benefit.
  • The third count relates to the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not.

Waters denied the allegations over the weekend.

"I did not, have not, will not engage in any improper behavior," she said. "I did not influence anyone and I certainly have not gained any benefit."

But the report says her husband's financial interest in OneUntied Bank had declined from $350,000 at the end of June 2008 to 175,000 in September, and would have been worthless if OneUntied Bank had not received federal funds.

"This is my mantra: No benefit, no improper action, no failure to disclose, no one influenced -- no case," Waters said.

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