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Gingrich's Last Ethics Charges Are Dropped

October 11, 1998|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The House ethics committee dropped the three remaining ethics charges against Speaker Newt Gingrich on Saturday, despite finding that Gingrich repeatedly violated one rule by using a political consultant to develop the Republican legislative agenda.

The ethics panel decided to take no further action because there is no evidence that "Rule 45" violations are continuing in the speaker's office, a post Gingrich has held since 1995. Consultant Jeffrey Eisenach's work took place while Gingrich (R-Ga.) was the GOP minority whip in 1990-91.

Gingrich was elected speaker after Republicans assumed control of the House.

Gingrich said he felt a "big sense of relief" now that the four-year investigation is over.

"The committee believes you have been adequately informed and cautioned on Rule 45 issues and anticipates full compliance in the future," said Rep. James V. Hansen (R-Utah), the panel's chairman, and Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-Mission Hills) in a letter to Gingrich.

They pointed out that Gingrich received "letters of admonition" from the committee in both 1995 and 1996 for "Rule 45" violations during his tenure as speaker.

Eisenach was a paid consultant to GOPAC, a Republican political group formerly chaired by Gingrich, according to the letter.

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