House ethics panel continues Stockman inquiry

HOUSTON (AP) — A report from the House Ethics Committee finds “substantial reason to believe” that Texas congressman Steve Stockman conspired with two former staffers to violate federal laws and ethics rules.

The 67-year-old Stockman is in his second term representing the Houston area and lost a GOP primary for U.S. Senate last month.

The Houston Chronicle reports that Stockman nonetheless claimed victory following the report released Wednesday by the Office of Congressional Ethics. He noted that the report didn’t call for an active investigation by a House panel that could issue subpoenas.

Stockman claimed that two staffers donated $15,000 to his campaign after quitting their jobs in February, then were rehired the next day. It’s illegal for staffers to donate to their employers’ campaigns.

The House Ethics Committee is still investigating.

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