Rangel to pay $23,000 in fines for misusing apartment

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) will pay $23,000 in civil fines for using a rent-stabilized apartment in Harlem as a campaign office.

Rangel paid $630 per month for an apartment that would have gone for at least $1,700 per month on the open market, amounting to campaign contributions in excess of the legal limit, according to Federal Election Commission documents obtained by The New York Times.

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In addition to the apartment being used for campaign purposes, Rangel had three other apartments in the building he used as a residence, although those were not part of the commission’s inquiry.

A Rangel spokeswoman told the paper that Rangel had settled not because he was guilty, but because he didn’t “want to go through the arduous process and expense” to prove he wasn’t guilty.

Rangel has faced a series of other ethics allegations and was found guilty in 2010 by a House ethics panel of breaking 11 congressional ethics rules.

Rangel announced last week his plans to run for a 22nd term in the House, but he could face primary challenges. Redistricting added new territory in the Bronx to his Harlem-based district.

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