Rangel agrees to pay $23,000 FEC fine over use of rent-controlled apartment

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A spokeswoman for Rangel said Monday that the decision to settle was not an admission of guilt.

“People settle not because they’re guilty but because they don’t want to go through the arduous process and expense to show they’re not guilty," Rangel spokeswoman Hannah Kim told the Times.

The FEC also admonished Fourth Lenox Terrace Associates, the owners of Rangel's building, for making "excessive in-kind contributions" to Rangel's political operations by leasing the apartment at a discount.

The fine was the latest blow for Rangel, who lost his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee after an Ethics Committee investigation found him guilty of 11 violations in 2010. The Ethics Committee admonished Rangel for improperly soliciting donations and failing to pay taxes on a rental villa in the Dominican Republic. Rangel also neglected to report hundreds of thousands of dollars on House financial disclosure forms.