Washington, D.C. – In the midst of a national financial catastrophe, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) used her position as a senior member of Congress and member of the House Financial Services Committee to prevail upon Treasury officials to meet with OneUnited Bank. She never disclosed that her husband held stock in the bank. This outrageous conduct has led Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to include the congresswoman as one of the Most Corrupt Members of Congress. Click here to read the full report on Rep. Waters.
“By contacting then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to request a meeting, allegedly for a group of minority-owned banks, but then arranging for only one bank – OneUnited, in which she had a financial interest – to attend, Rep. Waters violated House conflict of interest rules,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.
Around the same time Rep. Waters asked the Treasury Department to hold the initial meeting, Rep. Waters spoke to Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) about OneUnited, telling him that her husband previously had served on the board. Rep. Frank advised her to stay out of matters related to the bank. Nevertheless, Rep. Waters’ chief of staff and grandson, Mikael Moore, continued to actively assist OneUnited representatives in their quest to receive bailout funds, and worked to craft legislation authorizing Treasury to grant OneUnited’s request.
Rep. Waters was scheduled for an ethics trial on November 29, 2010, but the House Ethics Committee postponed the hearing. Inconsistent reports have emerged suggesting both potential new evidence and serious misconduct by two of the committee’s attorneys and improper conduct by committee members. In July 2011, the committee hired respected D.C attorney Billy Martin as outside counsel to investigate both the case against Rep. Waters and the committee itself.
“The ethics committee has handled the case against Rep. Waters with the maturity of school children,” said Ms. Sloan. “Happily, adult supervision in the form of Mr. Martin has been brought in to clean up the mess.”
This is the 7th edition of the CREW’S Most Corrupt Report, an annual look at a bipartisan collection of Washington’s worst. This year’s list includes seven Democrats, and 12 Republicans. Five are repeat offenders. Since 2005, CREW has named 70 members of Congress to the list, 32 of whom are no longer in office.