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House panel to review Rangel's ethics misdeeds

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY, arrives to attend a

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-NY, arrives to attend a memorial service for the late Pennsylvania Rep. John Murtha in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. CNN reported July 22, 2010 that a US House investigative committee has charged Rangel with multiple ethics violations. (March 3, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

WASHINGTON - A two-year investigation has determined that Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) likely violated ethics rules, the House Ethics Committee said Thursday as it announced a special subcommittee will take up his case for review next week.

The long-awaited announcement doesn't specify which of the many ethics violations leveled at Rangel the committee deemed credible. Most of the allegations concern his financial dealings.

The subcommittee is expected to review most of the charges when it meets next Thursday, including the most serious - such as Rangel's alleged failure to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income from a Caribbean villa.

Rangel, 80, has said he had done nothing wrong. Amid Republican pressure to resign and Democratic concerns of political fallout, he announced in March he would temporarily step down as chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.

Thursday, though, he reportedly refused a deal with the Ethics Committee.

"I am pleased that, at long last, sunshine will pierce the cloud of serious allegations that have been raised against me in the media," the congressman, who has served almost 40 years, said in a statement. "I will be glad to respond to the allegations at such time as the Ethics Committee makes them public."

Among the allegations are:

He allegedly owned a guest unit at the Punta Cana Club in the Dominican Republic since 1988, but failed to report the $75,000 earned from it on his state and federal taxes.

Rangel allegedly played a key role in preserving a tax loophole benefiting oil drilling firm Nabors Industries as its chief executive was pledging $1 million to the Charles B. Rangel School of Public Service at City College of New York.

He allegedly rented four rent-stabilized apartments in Harlem at below-market rates in violation of House rules barring members from taking gifts of more than $50.

In February, the Ethics Committee found Rangel had violated House gift rules by accepting payment or reimbursement for travel to Carib News conferences in Antigua and Barbuda in 2007 and St. Martin in 2008 from major corporations. The committee publicly admonished him and ordered him to repay the costs of the trips.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other members of the New York congressional delegation have been supportive of the Harlem politician as his career nears its end. But Democratic challenger Jonathan Tasini urged Rangel to drop his re-election bid and his Republican challenger Michael Faulkner said the Ethics Committee report "sickens me but doesn't shock me."

The special subcommittee of two Republicans and two Democrats will hold hearings at which Rangel and others will testify, then vote on whether the allegations were proven. If it finds the charges valid, the full committee determines sanctions, which can range from a reprimand to expulsion from Congress.

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