Rep. Laura Richardson in Ethical Hot Water Again

Aides have accused her of retaliating against them for cooperating in the last investigation.

Posted: 09/18/2012 01:11 PM EDT

Rep. Laura Richardson has the unfortunate distinction of being considered one of Capitol Hill’s toughest bosses. One former aide who’d previously served in the military once said she’d rather be in Afghanistan than continue working with the California lawmaker.

Now, after being rebuked by the House and fined $10,000 last month for improperly using her congressional staff for campaign duties, Richardson is in trouble again with the Ethics Committee, Politico reports.
 
She allegedly has been retaliating against and intimidating the aides who cooperated with the panel during the previous investigation. The ethics panel has issued a warning to Richardson, who is battling a fellow House Democrat for re-election. The panel is will consider tough measures if the allegations prove true or if Richardson tries to obstruct its investigation in any way.

“If any intimidating and/or retaliatory conduct does occur, you may leave the committee little choice but to take the most serious and swift actions available to it consistent with House and committee rules. Those options may include possible referral for remedial measures to other authorities,” the committee’s chairman Republican Jo Bonner of Alabama and ranking Democrat Linda Sanchez of California, wrote in an Aug. 15 letter obtained by Politico.

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(Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

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