To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Chu Chastised for Interfering in House Ethics Investigation


By Hannah Hess, December 11, 2014

 chu 14 020811 440x292 Chu Chastised for Interfering in House Ethics Investigation

 Concluding a probe it launched in March 2012 into allegations that Rep. Judy Chu tasked her official staff with campaign work while they were on the clock, the House Ethics Committee rebuked the California Democrat Thursday for interfering with its investigation.

Investigators learned a staffer had drafted a memo for an August 2011 fundraising lunch at the direction of Chu’s legislative director. They also discovered a second staffer spent several hours sifting through emails to Chu’s campaign account that were sent in response to a “military hazing” email.

The committee later determined Chu didn’t know about the improper work, and therefore had not violated House rules. But investigators learned over the course of the probe that the three-term congresswoman talked to her staff about the probe, violating House rules related to conduct.

In a 17-page report, the committee details a “troubling” series of conversations and email that took place on March 19, 2012, the day after the Ethics Committee notified Chu’s office of the investigation. After a staffer expressed concerns to Chu’s chief of staff about the probe, Chu tried to offer reassurance. Additionally, it appears Chu tried to cover up the March 20 email exchange.

She later apologized for the inappropriate contact with her staffers, but it wasn’t enough to keep Ethics Chairman K. Michael Conaway, R-Texas, and ranking member Linda T. Sanchez, D-Calif., from publicly rebuking her actions. Their two-page letter was posted Thursday.

“The Committee acknowledged that my intention was to ease the staff member’s anxiety and that I expressed regret for this one moment of contact,” Chu said in a lengthy statement responding to the letter, which included an explanation for the behavior.

‘When I became aware of these issues, I put strong measures in place to ensure that staff understand the separation between official work and volunteer work,” she said. “This includes additional ethics training, requiring signed forms acknowledging the separation of roles, and consistent reminders that the work is voluntary. I will continue to uphold and enforce these strong measures.”

Chu was re-elected to a fourth term in November. The committee has closed its probe.

Sierra Madre Tattler's Take on Judy Chu:


December 13, 2014

Judy Chu busted on an ethics violation

Our treasured and esteemed Congresswoman Judy Chu (link), who through her support of the 710 Tunnel is no stranger to selling out the residents of the San Gabriel Valley for the longterm benefit of certain hostile foreign economic interests, got popped this week by the House Ethics Committee. Apparently for interfering in an official investigation of her office over the use of government salaried employees for personal political gain. This from KPCC (link):

House Ethics Committee scolds Congresswoman Judy Chu El Monte Democrat Judy Chu was publicly scolded Thursday for using her Congressional staffers for campaign work and then interfering with an ethics investigation that sought to get to the bottom of it.

The House Ethics Committee has issued a letter of reproval, a punishment that carries no fine.

Chu was accused of requiring office staff to perform campaign-related work in her House office, during regular working hours. There's an ethical firewall between work done on the taxpayer's dime and that done on a political campaign.  

After an investigation, the Committee found that Chu's staff performed "limited campaign-related work while in House offices and on official time, and that some of this work was not voluntary," but the Committee also concluded that Chu didn't know about it.

 The reproval was for interfering with the investigation by "communicating with a member of your staff who expressed concerns about improper campaign work." Chu says she spoke to the staffer "one time simply to confirm facts based on the official calendar." She told the committee she regrets her actions.

The Ethics Committee called Chu's expression of regret commendable, but not good enough. By giving her own version of events to a material witness she violated a House rule. "You impeded the Committee's work and exhibited very poor judgment," the letter said.

Here is my question. Who actually votes for people like Judy Chu? And why don't they know how bad that is?