WASHINGTON — The House voted 324 to 68 today to reprimand Rep. Austin J. Murphy (D-Pa.) for four ethics violations, making him the first member to be disciplined in more than three years.
A reprimand was the least severe penalty of the options available to the House. Murphy could have faced censure, loss of seniority or even expulsion.
Before the vote, Murphy stood defiantly facing his colleagues in the House chamber and, gesturing frequently, presented a count-by-count rebuttal of the charges. He attacked the process by which the House ethics committee investigated him, determined his guilt and recommended a punishment.
"We have put members of this House in the untenable position of being investigator, of being prosecutor, of being grand juror and then reversing their roles and coming back to be a judge and a jury of the facts," Murphy said