Rangel Found Guilty of Ethics Charges

November 16, 2010 Updated Nov 16, 2010 at 2:32 PM EDT

By Ariane de Vogue (ABC News)


Rangel Found Guilty of Ethics Charges

November 16, 2010 Updated Nov 16, 2010 at 2:32 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, D.C. (ABC) - Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel of New York was found guilty by members of the House ethics committee Tuesday, for multiple violations of house rules. Rangel was convicted for improperly fundraising for a community center in his name, failing to disclose more than a half million dollars in assets on financial disclosure forms, and failing to disclose financial arrangements for a villa at the Punta Cana Yacht Club in the Dominican Republic.

Rangel was found guilty on 11 of 13 charges against him.

The panel combined two charges surrounding Rangel's misuse of congressional franking privileges for personal use. They could not reach a conclusion on one count of whether Rangel inappropriately accepted gifts.

"We have approached our duties diligently. ... We have tried to act with fairness. ... We have tried to do the right thing," said committee chairwoman California Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren after delivering the verdict.

Rangel was not present in the hearing room when the verdict was announced. The Harlem congressman walked out on the proceedings Monday after his request for a delay was denied.

On his way to a meeting of the House Democratic caucus, a downtrodden Rangel responded to reporters' questions saying, "I really haven't studied" the committee's decision.

The Ethics Committee will now begin to consider the appropriate sanctions against him.

Possible sanctions range from expulsion -- considered highly unlikely -- to reprimand, censure or a monetary fine. According to House ethics rules, a reprimand is reserved for a "serious violation;" censure is for "more serious violations."

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