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House Ethics Committee report: Rep. Richardson wants to play ball, literally

August 02, 2012|By Sandra Hernandez
  • Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif. in a May 2011 photo outside the White House in Washington. Richardson improperly compelled her congressional staff to do campaign work and should be reprimanded and fined for violating standards of conduct, the House Ethics Committee announced Wednesday.
Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif. in a May 2011 photo outside the White House… (Carolyn Kaster/ Associated…)

Rep. Laura Richardson (D-Long Beach) is getting lots of press this week, just not the kind that a candidate running for reelection might hope to attract.

On Wednesday, the House Committee on Ethics recommended Richardson be reprimanded for violating codes of ethics and standards of conduct and fined $10,000. The committee concluded that Richardson pressured her legislative staff to work on her campaign, often against their will.

Richardson is running against Rep. Janice Hahn in the newly created 44th Congressional District that stretches from San Pedro to Watts and across to South Gate. The editorial board endorsed Hahn, a former member of the Los Angeles City Council and sister of former Mayor James Hahn, in the June primary.

The ethical slap on the wrist isn’t likely to win Richardson any new endorsements and could drive away supporters who read the scathing report. Frankly, some of the findings are just plain embarrassing for the candidate. For example, the Long Beach congresswoman “repeatedly made complaints about its length and ultimately demanded that it end so she could participate in an annual Congressional softball game.” It's too bad she didn't want to play nice and reportedly delayed turning over documents and dragged out the process.

Richardson’s smart and savvy but she can’t seem to stay out of hot water. This is the second time she’s been under investigation. She was cleared in a previous 2010 probe into whether she received special treatment from a lender involving a foreclosed home she owned in Sacramento.

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