WASHINGTON--The House Ethics Committee is extending a contract with an outside legal advisor on its case against Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), further delaying the 3-year-old case -- perhaps until the end of this year.
The contract calls for Washington lawyer Billy Martin, hired by the panel a year ago, to be paid up to $500,000. He and his firm received at least $376,000 through March 31, according to House spending reports.
The committee said in a statement that it is committed to resolving the case as early as possible "in a thorough, fair and deliberative manner." The contract extends through Jan. 3, 2013, the end of the congressional session, although officials are hoping to conclude the matter sooner.
Martin was first hired to examine allegations that the committee acted improperly in its investigation of the South Los Angeles congresswoman. In June, the panel said the review found that her due process rights had not been violated.