Ethics panel: Dem took improper travel gift

The House ethics panel has determined that a House Democrat accepted an “impermissible gift” from a private sponsor of a trip to Taiwan in 2011.
 
The House Committee on Ethics did not punish Rep. Bill Owens (D-N.Y.) for the violation because he has already reimbursed the Chinese Cultural University (CCU) for the cost of the 2011 visit, which he made with his wife.

Lawmakers are allowed to take trips funded by foreign governments, but their spouses are not.

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The committee also investigated Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), a member of House leadership whose wife separately traveled using the same source of funds. The panel said it found “insufficient evidence” that Roskam’s travel was “improper.”

Late Friday, the Ethics Committee announced their unanimous decision to close the probes of both lawmakers while noting that the outside entities who paid for the trips would not agree to be interviewed.

“The Committee's review was incomplete because the information necessary to conduct a complete review was outside of the Committee's reach,” the report stated.

The OCE referred the matter to the Ethics Committee after launching separate investigations into the possibility of “improper travel” by Owens and Roskam.