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                                                 House Calendar No. 156
112th Congress }                                       {    Report
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session     }                                       {   112-642



                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

   August 1, 2012.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 

                                                 House Calendar No. 156
112th Congress }                                       {    Report
                         HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
2d Session     }                                       {   112-642




                              R E P O R T

                                 of the

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

   August 1, 2012.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 



75-373                    WASHINGTON : 2011

                          COMMITTEE ON ETHICS

JO BONNER, Alabama,                  LINDA T. SANCHEZ, California,
  Chairman                             Ranking Member
MICHAEL T. McCAUL, Texas             JOHN A. YARMUTH, Kentucky
K. MICHAEL CONAWAY, Texas            DONNA F. EDWARDS, Maryland
CHARLES W. DENT, Pennsylvania        PEDRO R. PIERLUISI, Puerto Rico
GREGG HARPER, Mississippi            JOE COURTNEY, Connecticut

                              REPORT STAFF

            Daniel A. Schwager, Chief Counsel/Staff Director
             Deborah Sue Mayer, Director of Investigations
              Kelle A. Strickland, Counsel to the Chairman
            Daniel J. Taylor, Counsel to the Ranking Member

               Clifford C. Stoddard, Jr., Senior Counsel
                       Sheria A. Clarke, Counsel
                      Christopher R. Tate, Counsel
                Brittany M. Bohren, Investigative Clerk
                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL


                          House of Representatives,
                                       Committee on Ethics,
                                    Washington, DC, August 1, 2012.
Hon. Karen L. Haas,
Clerk, House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Ms. Haas: Pursuant to clauses 3(a)(2) and 3(b) of rule 
XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives, we herewith 
transmit the attached Report, ``In the Matter of Allegations 
Relating to Representative Laura Richardson.''
                                   Jo Bonner,
                                   Linda T. Sanchez,
                                           Ranking Member.

                            C O N T E N T S

 I. INTRODUCTION......................................................1
II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY................................................2

  DAYSHA AUSTIN..................................................   417

                                                 House Calendar No. 156
112th Congress    }                                         {    Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session       }                                         {   112-642




   August 1, 2012.--Referred to the House Calendar and ordered to be 


               Mr. Bonner, from the Committee on Ethics, 
                        submitted the following

                        R E P O R T\1\

                            I. INTRODUCTION

    The Committee on Ethics (Committee) submits this privileged 
Report pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 3(a)(2) and House Rule 
XIII, clause 5(a)(5), which authorize the Committee to 
investigate any alleged violation by a Member, officer, or 
employee of the House of Representatives, of the Code of 
Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other 
standard of conduct applicable to the conduct of such Member, 
officer, or employee and to submit to the House a privileged 
report recommending action by the House as a result of such 
    \1\Before any decisions were made in the 112th Congress regarding 
the Rule 18(a) review regarding Representative Richardson that was 
initiated in the 111th Congress, Ranking Member Sanchez voluntarily 
recused herself from consideration of the matter, to avoid even the 
appearance of a conflict of interest, and designated Representative 
John Yarmuth to act as Acting Ranking Member for the purposes of this 
matter. See Public Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member, dated 
November 4, 2011. At that time, in light of uncertainties in 
California's redistricting process, there was a possibility that 
Representatives Sanchez and Richardson could have been primary 
opponents. Representatives Sanchez and Richardson were not, in fact, 
opponents in the primary election on June 5, 2012. Moreover, with the 
primary elections over, they cannot be opponents in the 2012 general 
election under California's unique election system. Accordingly, after 
consultation with the Committee's Staff Director and Chief Counsel, 
Representative Sanchez determined on June 7, 2012, that it was 
appropriate to end her voluntary recusal regarding the matter of 
Representative Richardson.
    This Report: (1) summarizes the Committee's investigation 
of Representative Laura Richardson relating to Representative 
Richardson's violations of House Rules, the Code of Ethics for 
Government Service, federal law and other applicable standards 
related to her compelling members of her official staff to work 
on her re-election campaign, her use of official resources for 
campaign purposes, her use of official resources for personal 
purposes, and her obstruction of this Committee's 
investigation; (2) addresses the concerns and arguments raised 
by Representative Richardson in her July 25, 2012, views 
submitted and attached hereto; (3) adopts the attached report 
of the Investigative Subcommittee in the Matter of 
Representative Richardson, which (a) includes evidence 
supporting the Committee's findings, (b) explains the 
Committee's reasons for its recommendation to the House that, 
pursuant to Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the United States 
Constitution, House Rule XI, clause 3(a)(2), and Committee Rule 
24(e), Representative Richardson be reprimanded, (c) summarizes 
the Committee's inquiry into the role of Representative 
Richardson's Chief of Staff Shirley Cooks in this matter, and 
(d) summarizes the Committee's inquiry into the role of 
Representative Richardson's Deputy District Director Daysha 
Austin in this matter; and (4) recommends that the House of 
Representatives adopt this Report and, by doing so, reprimand 
Representative Laura Richardson.

                         II. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

    During the first week of October 2010, the Committee 
received complaints from several members of Representative 
Laura Richardson's staff in both the Washington, DC, and Long 
Beach, CA, offices indicating Representative Richardson 
required her staff to perform campaign work. Based on these 
complaints, the Chair and Ranking Republican Member of the 
Committee for the 111th Congress authorized Committee staff to 
conduct an inquiry into these allegations pursuant to Committee 
Rule 18(a). On October 15, 2010, Committee counsel notified 
Representative Richardson in writing of the inquiry and 
requested she make her staff and documents and records 
available to the Committee. Committee staff interviewed 17 
witnesses, including members of Representative Richardson's 
staff from her offices in Washington, DC (also known as the 
``Capitol Hill office''), and Long Beach, CA (also known as the 
``district office''), as well as a shared employee, during that 
phase of the inquiry.
    Based on the results of the 18(a) investigation, staff 
recommended in the 112th Congress that the Committee empanel an 
ISC to further investigate the allegations. On November 3, 
2011, following an initial inquiry under Committee Rule 18(a), 
the Committee empanelled an Investigative Subcommittee to 
investigate allegations that Representative Richardson, as well 
as two members of her official staff, had (1) engaged in 
improper use of House resources for campaign, personal, and 
nonofficial purposes; and (2) improperly required or compelled 
official staff to perform campaign work.\2\
    \2\The Committee notes that throughout the ISC's Report and 
contained in the exhibits are references to a variety of campaign or 
political events. There is no allegation that there was anything 
improper with any of these events other than Representative 
Richardson's compulsion of her staff's attendance or her use of 
official resources in connection with such events. Furthermore, mere 
attendance at these events by other Members is not rendered improper in 
any way by Representative Richardson's misconduct.
    At the completion of its investigation, the Investigative 
Subcommittee unanimously concluded that there was substantial 
reason to believe that Representative Laura Richardson violated 
the Purpose Law, 31 U.S.C. Sec. 1301; House Rule XXIII clauses 
1, 2, and 8; and clause 2 of the Code of Ethics for Government 
Service, and other standards of conduct, by improperly using 
House resources for campaign, personal, and nonofficial 
purposes; by requiring or compelling her official staff to 
perform campaign work; and by obstructing the investigation of 
the Committee and the Investigative Subcommittee through the 
alteration or destruction of evidence, the deliberate failure 
to produce documents responsive to requests for information and 
a subpoena, and attempting to influence the testimony of 
    On July 18, 2012, after negotiating a resolution to this 
matter with Representative Richardson, the Investigative 
Subcommittee unanimously voted to adopt a Statement of Alleged 
Violation (SAV) against Representative Richardson. As part of 
the negotiated resolution, Representative Richardson agreed to 
admit to all seven counts in the SAV and waive all further 
procedural rights in this matter provided to her by House or 
Committee Rule.
    On July 26, 2012, the Investigative Subcommittee submitted 
a Report to the full Committee unanimously recommending that 
the full Committee submit a public report to the House, and 
that the adoption of that report by the House serve as a 
reprimand of Representative Richardson for her misconduct. 
Additionally, the Investigative Subcommittee recommended that 
the Committee issue a fine to Representative Richardson in the 
amount of $10,000, to be paid no later than December 1, 2012. 
The Investigative Subcommittee further strongly discouraged 
Representative Richardson from permitting any of her official 
staff to perform work on her campaign (either on a paid or 
volunteer basis), but recommended to the Committee that, to the 
extent any of her official staff do perform work on her 
campaign, that said staff be required to sign a waiver 
asserting that such work will be provided voluntarily and is 
not being compelled by Representative Richardson. As part of 
the resolution Representative Richardson negotiated with the 
Investigative Subcommittee, Representative Richardson agreed to 
admit to all seven counts in the SAV, pay a $10,000 fine by 
December 1, 2012, and accept all other terms of the 
Investigative Subcommittee's recommendation.
    In addition, as a part of its investigation, the 
Investigative Subcommittee inquired as to the role of 
Representative Richardson's Chief of Staff Shirley Cooks and 
Deputy District Director Daysha Austin in this matter. 
Following its investigation, Ms. Cooks and Ms. Austin agreed to 
waive all further procedural rights in this matter provided to 
them by House or Committee Rule. The Investigative Subcommittee 
recommended that the Committee issue public letters of reproval 
to Ms. Cooks and Ms. Austin for their conduct. On August 1, 
2012, the Committee issued public letters of reproval to Ms. 
Cooks and Ms. Austin.


    The Investigative Subcommittee, as a part of its negotiated 
resolution of this matter, provided to all respondents 
(Representative Richardson, Ms. Cooks, and Ms. Austin) the 
opportunity to review a draft of the Investigative 
Subcommittee's Report and to submit views on that Report for 
the Committee's consideration and publication.\3\ 
Representative Richardson chose to submit 22 pages of her views 
on the Investigative Subcommittee's Report and the Committee's 
investigation,\4\ while Ms. Cooks and Ms. Austin declined to 
respond to the Investigative Subcommittee's Report. In this 
section the Committee will address some of Representative 
Richardson's concerns.
    \3\Respondents agreed to a five-day period in which to review and 
respond to the Investigative Subcommittee's Report (ISC Report). As 
discussed more fully below, this timeline was not only a part of the 
negotiated resolution (from which Representative Richardson herself 
benefited significantly), but also an objectively reasonable amount of 
time to appropriately and fully respond.
    \4\See Views of Representative Richardson (July 25, 2012).
    As a threshold matter, Representative Richardson's 
submission attempts to object to a variety of factual, 
procedural, and legal conclusions underpinning the result we 
reach today. Even if her objections had merit--and they do 
not--the time for lodging those objections has passed, because 
the conclusion of this matter is one reached through 
negotiation with Representative Richardson herself. 
Representative Richardson admitted to wrongdoing. 
Representative Richardson waived her procedural rights. 
Representative Richardson agreed to accept a reprimand and fine 
for her misconduct. If Representative Richardson did not wish 
to agree to this process and these conclusions, she could have 
availed herself of the adjudicatory process provided by House 
and Committee rules. Instead, she affirmatively sought out a 
resolution with the Investigative Subcommittee, and gained 
specific and significant personal benefit from the resolution.
    In the end, Representative Richardson's views seem to leave 
enough of the SAV un-challenged, and seem to use enough 
language of acceptance, however qualified it is, so that her 
views do not amount to a withdrawal from the negotiated 
resolution. Still, the concerns raised do warrant a response so 
that the House of Representatives and the public are not left 
with the misimpression that Representative Richardson's views 
amount to an accurate recitation of the facts, rules, or law in 
this matter. The Committee gave serious consideration to 
Representative Richardson's concerns, and ultimately found that 
they are without merit.
    Even if she had not rendered her own arguments moot by 
entering into a negotiated resolution, the Committee would not 
find them persuasive. Representative Richardson constructs 
three straw men in her submission, towards which she deflects 
responsibility in different, and ultimately baseless, respects. 
First, Representative Richardson impugns the hard work of the 
Committee, Committee staff, and the Investigative Subcommittee, 
by accusing them of a variety of procedural errors and 
purported violations.\5\ Her arguments in this regard 
significantly exaggerate some of her rights, and fabricate 
other rights, which simply do not exist. Indeed, rather than 
the Committee preventing Representative Richardson from 
providing a true and full account of the facts in context, as 
she has suggested,\6\ it has been Representative Richardson who 
failed to take advantage of the fulsome opportunities provided 
through the Investigative Subcommittee.
    \5\See Views of Representative Richardson at 1-8 (July 25, 2012).
    \6\See Views of Representative Richardson at 1-2 (July 25, 2012).
    These multiple missed opportunities began, at the latest, 
in November, 2011, when the Investigative Subcommittee sent 
Representative Richardson a request for documents.\7\ For 
months that request went unanswered, until the Investigative 
Subcommittee threatened to serve Representative Richardson with 
a subpoena. From that point, documents began to trickle in at a 
pace so slow that the Investigative Subcommittee was ultimately 
forced to follow through on its threat and compel the 
production of documents by subpoena.\8\ As noted in the 
Investigative Subcommittee's Report, even the subpoena did not 
cause Representative Richardson to make a complete production 
of responsive documents.\9\ Then, after the Investigative 
Subcommittee delayed its interview of Representative Richardson 
for over a month to accommodate her request for more time 
because of her primary election schedule, the Investigative 
Subcommittee finally held its interview with Representative 
Richardson on June 20, 2012. Moreover, during her interview, 
Representative Richardson repeatedly made complaints about its 
length and ultimately demanded that it end so she could 
participate in an annual Congressional softball game.\10\ When 
the Investigative Subcommittee Chairman expressed the 
Subcommittee's willingness to continue into the evening or 
reconvene at a later date, Representative Richardson declined 
the offers, stating her preference to finish her interview in 
the short time available that day.\11\
    \7\See Letter from Representative Charles Dent and Representative 
John Yarmuth to Representative Laura Richardson on November 17, 2011.
    \8\See Subpoena duces tecum issued by the Committee on Ethics to 
Representative Richardson on June 7, 2012.
    \9\See ISC Report at 46.
    \10\See ISC Interview of Representative Laura Richardson.
    \11\See ISC Interview of Representative Laura Richardson.
    Even if Representative Richardson had not acted with utter 
disdain for the Committee's process, her arguments demanding 
greater or different process are both misleading and baseless. 
For example, Representative Richardson argues that at the end 
of the 111th Congress, in the phase of the investigation 
conducted pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a) (18(a) 
investigation), Committee staff made inappropriate remarks to 
witnesses in her matter that showed prejudice.\12\ In reality, 
Committee staff provided information to witnesses about the 
next steps in the investigation and repeatedly informed 
witnesses that it was up to the Committee to decide what, if 
anything, would happen in this matter. In what became an 
obvious pattern in her submission, Representative Richardson 
omitted significant qualifying statements of staff that made 
clear that they were not making any definitive predictions as 
to what the Committee would do. The statements that were made 
are typical statements made to witnesses in the course of an 
investigation in order to inform the witness of their likely 
role in the investigation. These statements violate no rights 
even in a criminal process. This process, of course, is by no 
means a criminal process. As such, these rights have never been 
applied to this context in any form. Even more importantly, any 
staff recommendation to the Committee is purely advisory: it 
was the Committee that, after an independent review of 
evidence, unanimously chose to empanel an Investigative 
Subcommittee,\13\ and it was the Investigative Subcommittee 
that, after a further investigation and independent review of 
all evidence, unanimously chose to adopt a Statement of Alleged 
Violation.\14\ Representative Richardson has provided no 
evidence tending to show that the outcome of this matter would 
have differed in any respect if staff had stayed silent.
    \12\See Views of Representative Richardson at 1-3 (July 25, 2012).
    \13\See Statement of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the 
Committee on Ethics regarding Representative Laura Richardson (November 
4, 2011) (``The Committee-initiated action follows a discretionary 
review of the allegations, pursuant to Committee Rule 18(a) . . . '').
    \14\See ISC Report at Exhibit 1.
    Representative Richardson also restates a complaint she 
initially raised in a letter to the Committee on November 30, 
2010, that, in interviews conducted during the 18(a) 
investigation at the end of the 111th Congress, Committee staff 
improperly requested that witnesses not speak to Representative 
Richardson's counsel.\15\ However, as the committee has 
repeatedly informed her through counsel, Representative 
Richardson's complaint omits stark clarifications made in many 
of those interviews. In fact Committee counsel informed 
witnesses repeatedly that the general confidentiality requests 
were limited to the content of the interview itself, and not to 
the general facts of the case, and that the final decision of 
whether to speak to Representative Richardson's counsel or not 
was up to the witnesses, who would suffer no consequences if 
they did so. Also omitted are exceptions to the bar rules 
cited, as well as relevant distinctions in the case law cited. 
In the end, with the disclaimers that were employed by 
Committee staff at the time, and with the significant legal 
differences between these proceedings and criminal proceedings, 
there is no constitutional impediment to the resolution of this 
matter before the Committee and the House.
    \15\See Views of Representative Richardson at 4 (July 25, 2012).
    Further, the Committee notes the disturbing irony in 
Representative Richardson's submission when she alleges that 
this conduct by Committee staff intimidated and frightened her 
employees, given the horrendous picture so many of her own 
current and former staff described of their time in her 
employment, and her own attempts to intimidate them on a 
regular basis.\16\ Given that Representative Richardson is 
accepting responsibility for obstructing the Committee's 
investigation and compelling her staff to engage in other 
improper conduct, the Committee's concerns for the integrity of 
the investigation and the interests of the witnesses were well 
born out.
    \16\See ISC Report at 9-10, 21, 47-48.
    Representative Richardson also argues that by providing her 
with a draft of the Investigative Subcommittee's Report on a 
Friday, the five-day review period fell on a weekend, 
``significantly reducing the ability to use the five agreed 
days.''\17\ Representative Richardson's complaint is 
contradicted by the facts uncovered during the Investigative 
Subcommittee's investigation which demonstrate overwhelmingly 
that Representative Richardson forced her staff to perform 
campaign work on weekends, demanding that her needs be placed 
over those of her staff, their families, their health, their 
faith, and their education.\18\ Beyond the contradictory nature 
of the complaint, however, the Investigative Subcommittee and 
Committee staff made clear on the record of an Investigative 
Subcommittee meeting (for which Representative Richardson and 
her counsel were present by telephone) that their proposed 
timeline contemplated her receiving the draft on Friday and 
submitting the views the following Wednesday. Representative 
Richardson appears in her submission to insinuate that the 
Investigative Subcommittee is lying about the disclosure of the 
timeline, where she states that ``the ISC then refused to make 
the transcript of the recital of the terms of the settlement 
agreement available to Rep. Richardson.''\19\ In fact, after 
receiving the written transcript of the meeting, the 
Investigative Subcommittee, through staff, confirmed to 
Representative Richardson's attorney that the transcript 
included the explicit recital of this information as 
Representative Richardson herself well knew since she was 
present on the call.
    \17\Views of Representative Richardson at 7 (July 25, 2012).
    \18\See ISC Report at 8-9, 15-20; ISC Exhibit 3, 6, 10, 11, 33.
    \19\Views of Representative Richardson at 7 (July 25, 2012).

          ISC STAFF: Okay. So, Joe, we're on the record. Can 
        you just state for the court reporter your name and who 
        is there with you?
          MR. SANDLER: Yes. This is Joseph Sandler. I'm counsel 
        for Congresswoman Richardson, and the Congresswoman is 
        here with me in her office.
          ISC STAFF: And the purpose of this--of conferencing 
        you in is to review the terms that we've already 
        reviewed with you on the telephone this morning but to 
        do it on the record, okay?
          MR. SANDLER: Yes, that's fine.
          ISC STAFF: So, as we discussed earlier, 
        Representative Richardson, as part of her resolution of 
        this matter, has agreed to admit to the allegations in 
        the SAV that was transmitted to you this morning, with 
        the one change . . . . That's the first term.
          The second is that Ms. Richardson agrees to accept a 
        reprimand and a public report.
          Number three, that Ms. Richardson agrees to waive all 
        of her procedural rights under committee and House 
          Number four, that although Ms. Richardson has waived 
        all of her procedural rights under committee and House 
        rules the subcommittee will give Ms. Richardson 5 
        days--5 calendar days to review their report and submit 
        any views. Her views cannot be contrary to the SAV. The 
        calendar days will start when the ISC report is 
        transmitted. We expect that that will be on Friday, and 
        so her response would be due the following Wednesday.
          Number five, that Ms. Richardson will pay a $10,000 
        fine by no later than December 1, 2012.
          Number six, that the ISC strongly discourages 
        Representative Richardson from allowing any of her 
        official staff to volunteer on her 2012 campaign. 
        However, to the degree that any of her staff wish to 
        volunteer, they must sign a written statement 
        acknowledging that their work is voluntary and not 
        compelled by Representative Richardson.
          And, seven, that the ISC will recommend to the full 
        committee that the report shall serve as the reprimand 
        or will include the reprimand language and that there 
        will be no standalone resolution regarding the 
          Those are the terms that we discussed on the 
        telephone this morning and that you told us that you 
        agreed to, and we just want to get your agreement on 
        the record.
          MR. SANDLER: On point four you said, contrary to the 
        SAV, but what we discussed on the phone was she would 
        be able to address allegations--specific factual 
        assertions in that--as distinct from the counts?
          ISC STAFF: That's correct. She will be able--it's not 
        contrary to the allegations in the SAV, so she will be 
        able to include in her views any factual recitation of 
        her view of some of the background evidence. But, as we 
        also discussed, if she has a recitation that's contrary 
        to every single paragraph of the SAV, that's 
        essentially eviscerating her admission to the SAV under 
        number one of the terms.
          MR. SANDLER: Okay.
          ISC STAFF: Are those the terms as you understand 
        them, Mr. Sandler?
          MR. SANDLER: Just one second. Okay. This will confirm 
        that we accept the terms as you described them with the 
        one caveat we discussed at the end.
          ISC STAFF: And when you say ``we,'' Mr. Sandler, just 
        for the record, you mean yourself and Ms. Richardson.
          MR. SANDLER: My client, Congresswoman Richardson, 
        accepts them.\20\
    \20\Transcript of ISC Meeting of July 18, 2012 (emphasis added).

    Representative Richardson also contends that the 
Investigative Subcommittee should not have relied on attorney 
proffers from the other two respondents, Ms. Cooks and Ms. 
Austin, and complains that these proffers were not provided to 
her.\21\ On the first point, the Committee notes that all 
respondents, including Representative Richardson herself, 
proffered information to the Investigative Subcommittee after 
they received a draft SAV and a copy of all of the evidence. 
These proffers were plainly intended to persuade the 
Investigative Subcommittee. Ms. Cooks and Ms. Austin, through 
their proffers, did indeed convince the Investigative 
Subcommittee of some additional facts, or corroborated other 
facts already in evidence. Both Ms. Cooks and Ms. Austin, by 
the terms of their negotiated resolutions with the 
Investigative Subcommittee, agreed to testify in any further 
proceedings. If Representative Richardson wanted to attack 
their credibility, she would have had her chance to do so at an 
adjudicatory hearing. Instead, she waived that right and agreed 
to accept the Report of the Investigative Subcommittee. 
Further, there is absolutely no basis in the rules, law, or 
Constitution upon which Representative Richardson would still 
have a right, at this stage, to those proffer statements in 
    \21\See Views of Representative Richardson at 7-8 (July 25, 2012).
    Having finished her complaints about the Committee, the 
Committee staff, and the Investigative Subcommittee, 
Representative Richardson pivots to her second line of attack: 
the credibility of her own staff. Representative Richardson 
takes umbrage at the idea that members of her staff spoke to 
each other about the fact that she was under investigation.\22\ 
She appears to make the leap from this observation to a 
contention that these conversations influenced the testimony of 
staff to such an extent as to impede her rights and make the 
overwhelming evidence in this case unreliable.\23\ Witnesses to 
an event speak to each other about the event all the time. They 
are human. Neither House Rules nor legal principles mandate a 
cessation of this unremarkable activity.
    \22\See Views of Representative Richardson at 8-9 (July 25, 2012).
    \23\See Views of Representative Richardson at 8-9 (July 25, 2012).
    That being said, this type of conversation is exactly what 
the Committee staff was attempting to avoid when they requested 
that witnesses not speak to anyone else about the matter. 
Amazingly, Representative Richardson criticizes the Committee 
staff for trying to prevent exactly what she later complains 
about. In the end, just as Committee staff properly made clear 
to numerous witnesses that we cannot require them to refrain 
from discussing the case, so too, such discussions on their own 
do not amount to an automatic deprivation of Representative 
Richardson's rights.
    Furthermore, as is common throughout her complaints, 
Representative Richardson omits starkly contradictory evidence 
in the same record she selectively quotes from. For example, in 
support of her claim, Representative Richardson notes that 
Jeremy Marcus testified that ``amongst the staff . . . there 
has been, you know, some interested chatter about, you know, 
what's going on.''\24\ What Mr. Marcus actually said in his 
testimony is as follows:
    \24\Views of Representative Richardson at 8 (July 25, 2012).

          Q: Did anybody else talk to you about what you were 
        going to say?
          A: I mean, of course amongst the staff, there's 
        been--but, actually, people have been very resolute 
        about not discussing any details. But of course----
          Q: That's really good.
          A: ----but of course there has been, you know, some 
        interested chatter about, you know, what's going 
    \25\18(a) Interview of Jeremy Marcus (emphasis added).

    The removal of Mr. Marcus' clear statement that the staff 
was ``resolute about not discussing any details,'' is a crucial 
part of his statement and directly contradicts Representative 
Richardson's claim of improper collusion.\26\ Representative 
Richardson continues to attack the credibility of other current 
and former staff of hers with a similar pattern of omission and 
deception. The Committee finds these attempts to be as 
objectionable as they are meritless.
    \26\18(a) Interview of Jeremy Marcus.
    Representative Richardson spends the rest of her submission 
taking aim at her third and final target: the facts, as proven 
by the overwhelming weight of the evidence collected. 
Representative Richardson's views weave an elaborate 
fabrication out of threads of decontextualized evidence and 
outright prevarication, in an absurd attempt to rebut the 
majority of the tremendous evidence against her.\27\ For 
example, Representative Richardson, when discussing a meeting 
where Ms. Cooks stated that if staff failed to volunteer they 
risked losing their jobs, stated that ``[n]o staff testified, 
however, that Ms. Cooks indicated at the meeting that she was 
speaking for or at the direction of the Congresswoman.''\28\ 
This carefully worded point is highly misleading.
    \27\Views of Representative Richardson at 9-21 (July 25, 2012).
    \28\Views of Representative Richardson at 9 (July 25, 2012).
    Kenneth Miller testified that Ms. Cooks invoked 
Representative Richardson directly: ``If you know anything 
about [Representative Richardson], you probably will not have a 
job, you know, if you don't volunteer.''\29\ Eric Boyd 
testified that he took Ms. Cooks' statements ``to be coming not 
from Shirley.''\30\ And Candace Yamagawa testified that ``even 
prior to Shirley Cooks coming to the district office, I knew it 
was the highway or the byway, either adhere to what 
[Representative Richardson] wants or you are out.''\31\ And 
yet, perhaps hoping that the public would read her submission 
and not the Investigative Subcommittee's Report, Representative 
Richardson ignores the overwhelming evidence that it was her 
own actions, judgments and management, that created the 
undeniable message among her staff that if they considered 
campaign work to be voluntary, it was at their peril, and 
risked her wrath.
    \29\ISC Report at 4.
    \30\ISC Report at 4-5
    \31\ISC Report at 5.
    These sorts of misrepresentations continue throughout 
Representative Richardson's submission. On certain occasions, 
Representative Richardson repeats the strategy she employed 
with Mr. Marcus' testimony regarding conversations between 
witnesses: she simply cuts off a passage or section where it is 
most helpful for her. For example, Representative Richardson 
quotes Lucinda Woodward in a way that characterizes her 
testimony as exculpatory of Representative Richardson:

          Q: Were you ever threatened if you chose not to 
          A: No.\32\
    \32\Views of Representative Richardson at 12 (July 25, 2012).

    But immediately after the quoted passage, Ms. Woodward 

          Q: You have volunteered?
          A: I never have . . . I feel like my hours in her 
        office are so long that I barely have the time to spend 
        with my family. I would not volunteer my time . . . She 
        gets really angry. I would describe her as a vindictive 
        person . . . It is not like you get fired for [standing 
        up to her] necessarily, but it is a very uncomfortable 
        environment for the person who does.''\33\
    \33\18(a) Interview of Lucinda Woodward.

    Representative Richardson uses this technique again when 
attempting to discredit the testimony of her current 
Communications Director, Makeda Scott, by saying that Ms. Scott 
erroneously assumed that an event to which she was assigned was 
a campaign event, and that Ms. Scott based this assumption 
solely on the location of the event, outside Representative 
Richardson's district. This is incorrect. As Ms. Scott herself 
explains, she did not base her conclusion solely on the 
location of the event:

          And I said, are you Tim from the division [sic] 
        office? And he said, no, the Congresswoman called me to 
        come meet her here, and she had me take pictures on her 
        camera. And he said, you know, she wanted to get some 
        more inroads in, you know, the new district. And I 
        said, in the where? And I said, where am I? And he said 
        Wilmington. And I said, is this the 37th District? And 
        he said, no, and he said, you know, I help out on the 
    \34\ISC staff interview of Makeda Scott (emphasis added).

    Moreover, Representative Richardson suggests that Ms. 
Scott's testimony regarding compulsory campaign work was 
limited to this one event. Contrary to this suggestion, Ms. 
Scott's testimony identifies interactions she had directly with 
Representative Richardson wherein Representative Richardson 
pressured her to perform campaign work after Representative 
Richardson was fully aware of this Committee's investigation:

           . . . And she [Representative Richardson] brought me 
        in her office and she said, did you bring in your 
        personal camera? I said no. I said, we have a camera 
        here in the office. And then she said, I know that. I 
        wanted you to bring your personal camera in because I 
        wanted you to take pictures of me and a Member for the 
        campaign. And I said, here in the building? And she 
        said, yes. And I said, well, I don't--she said, well, 
        you can do that, and I said I don't feel--I don't know. 
        I said, that doesn't--you know, I said I didn't want to 
        do anything on the campaign. And then that is when she, 
        you know, just went off and said, you can do these 
        things. You should do these things. You haven't offered 
        to volunteer on the campaign. And she said, I am not 
        saying that you have to, she said, but you haven't 
        offered, and that makes me feel uncomfortable working 
        with you. And so I said, okay, well, you know, so that 
        is what I mean. She was trying to, I feel, force me 
        into working on her campaign.
          Q: So I want to go back to one thing that you said, 
        which is that you said--you said that she objected to 
        the fact that you haven't offered to volunteer?
          A: Volunteer.
          Q: And she said that that made her, Representative 
        Richardson, uncomfortable with working with you.
          A: Yes.
          Q: What did you take that to mean?
          A: As a threat. If you don't volunteer on my campaign 
        you are not going to continue working here. That is how 
        I took it.\35\
    \35\ISC staff interview of Makeda Scott (emphasis added).

    Even in those cases where Representative Richardson does 
not do violence to the complete record, she relies on a 
selective judgment of credibility which the Investigative 
Subcommittee did not share. For example, Representative 
Richardson attempts to rebut the testimony of no fewer than 
five witnesses with the testimony of a single district staffer, 
Henry Rogers, whose testimony was largely exculpatory for 
Representative Richardson. The Investigative Subcommittee 
reviewed Mr. Rogers' transcript. It also either reviewed the 
transcripts or actually heard the testimony of Kenneth Miller, 
Eric Boyd, Maria Angel Macias, Moises Romero, and Candace 
Yamagawa, which was largely inculpatory of Representative 
Richardson.\36\ In the Investigative Subcommittee's judgment, 
Mr. Rogers' account simply did not outweigh the credibility of 
the accounts of the five other witnesses. If Representative 
Richardson wanted to attack five witnesses with her own single 
witness, she was free to do so at an adjudicatory hearing, but 
there is no reason to conclude from her submission that the 
Committee's judgment of credibility would have differed in any 
meaningful respect from that of the Investigative Subcommittee.
    \36\See ISC Report at 4-24.
    Likewise, Representative Richardson quotes three 
Washington, DC staffers--Jakki Dennis, Gregory Berry, and 
Jeremy Marcus--who stated that their attendance at her campaign 
fundraiser ``Democratic Idol'' was voluntary.\37\ But even if 
the Investigative Subcommittee credited their testimony, it 
does not answer the ultimate question of whether anyone else 
was compelled to attend. Ms. Dennis, Mr. Berry, and Mr. Marcus 
could not volunteer on behalf of Ms. Woodward or Mr. 
Billington, both of whom stridently testified that their 
attendance was not voluntary.\38\ In fact, the staff who had 
already decided to attend the event paid very little attention 
to Ms. Cooks' email, and for good reason--compulsion only 
affects those who would otherwise refuse.
    \37\Views of Representative Richardson at 16-17 (July 25, 2012).
    \38\ISC Report at 28-29.
    Finally, Representative Richardson ignores some of the most 
damning facts in the Investigative Subcommittee's Report. For 
example, in her testimony before the Investigative 
Subcommittee, Representative Richardson insisted that she never 
intended to require her staff to attend Democratic Idol and 
attempted to place blame on Ms. Cooks' email telling staff they 
were required to attend.\39\ She attempts to insulate and 
exculpate herself by saying that because she was not included 
on the email, she was unaware until after the fact that staff 
had been told they were required to attend.\40\ As discussed in 
the Investigative Subcommittee's Report, Ms. Cooks informed the 
Investigative Subcommittee that after speaking directly with 
Representative Richardson and at Representative Richardson's 
direction, she sent the email to the Washington, DC staff.\41\ 
In addition to Ms. Cooks' information, Representative 
Richardson's own calendar, has the following entry:\42\
    \39\ISC Report at 28-30.
    \40\Views of Representative Richardson at 1 (July 25, 2012).
    \41\ISC Report at 28-30.
    \42\ISC Report at Exhibit 51.


    The Investigative Subcommittee's investigation gathered 
overwhelming evidence that Representative Richardson checked 
her calendar often and it was not uncommon for her to chastise 
her staff for an improper entry. For example, in July 2010, 
Representative Richardson sent her Chief of Staff and District 
Director and email entitled ``Schedules on the calendar,'' 
wherein she ``stress[ed] how important it is everyday to review 
the schedule together and ensure there is proper coverage and 
info for staff contact.'' Representative Richardson went on in 
the email to (1) direct her staff to add certain events to the 
calendar, (2) point out that a certain event did not have a 
staffer assigned to cover it, (3) ask which day a particular 
staffer was going to be out for their birthday since that entry 
was listed on two days, and (4) noted that a staff appointment 
had been left off the calendar.\43\ And on July 29, 2010, 
Representative Richardson emailed her scheduler and Chief of 
Staff saying ``Before you leave EVERY evening you must 
completely update the calendar. For ie: my calendar is showing 
preside 4-6 not 2-4. Thx.''\44\ Therefore, the Investigative 
Subcommittee properly concluded that Representative Richardson 
did indeed intend to require her official staff to attend her 
campaign fundraiser and whether or not she received Ms. Cooks' 
email is of no consequence.
    \43\Email from Representative Richardson to Eric Boyd and Shirley 
Cooks (July 8, 2010, 4:05 PM)
    \44\Email from Representative Richardson to Jakki Dennis and 
Shirley Cooks (July 29, 2010, 8:18 AM); see also ISC Report at Exhibit 
6 (email entitled ``Schedule today,'' wherein Representative Richardson 
points out an event listed on her calendar that does not have a staffer 
assigned to it, ``I notice no staff is assigned @ lcdp dinner 
    Representative Richardson's submission launches an attack 
on many members of her staff.\45\ Based on the overwhelming 
evidence against Representative Richardson, the Committee 
wishes to make abundantly clear that, in the credibility 
dispute Representative Richardson presents between herself and 
those of her own current and former staff whom she continues to 
attack, the Committee sides with her staff.
    \45\See Views of Representative Richardson (July 25, 2012).
    In the same vein, Representative Richardson disputes that 
her actions with respect to changing Ms. Austin's status were 
intended to obstruct the Committee's investigation, and relies 
on Ms. Austin's testimony early in the investigation that she 
had discussions with Representative Richardson in September 
about moving to part-time status in October.\46\ However, Ms. 
Austin has now corrected her testimony and made clear to the 
Investigative Subcommittee that these September conversations 
never occurred. In addition, Representative Richardson's own 
emails and her own plainly inconsistent accounts over time 
support the Investigative Subcommittee's rejection of her 
claims, and their finding that Representative Richardson's 
change to Ms. Austin's status was in fact intended to obstruct 
the Committee's investigation.\47\
    \46\Views of Representative Richardson at 17-19 (July 25, 2012).
    \47\See ISC Report at 37-46.
    Representative Richardson also stated that her meeting with 
staff, in which she suggested answers to the Committee, was not 
intended to obstruct, and that ``[w]hen she referenced staff 
volunteering, she was referring to attendance at a local 
meeting of a political club.''\48\ She therefore admits that 
she did tell her staff that they were volunteering, but limits 
it to a single event. This is not credible. Because numerous 
staffers testified that Representative Richardson had a mock 
dialogue with herself, stating some of the questions she 
expected the Committee to ask, such as ``did you feel that your 
campaign work was mandatory or you were compelled in some 
way?'' and then an answer--``no.''\49\ Three staffers testified 
that they felt that Representative Richardson was asking them 
to answer a certain way that would minimize her culpability 
whether or not those answers were true.\50\ Even if 
Representative Richardson's explanation was on all fours with 
the facts--and it is not--if she told staff how to testify 
regarding the voluntary nature of their campaign work, this 
would be obstruction, even if she limited such a statement to a 
single event.
    \48\Views of Representative Richardson at 19 (July 25, 2012).
    \49\ISC Report at 45.
    \50\ISC Report at 45.
    In sum, Representative Richardson's submission continues 
the approach she has taken in this matter from the outset: an 
utter absence of true remorse for her misuse of official 
resources and, equally as significant, for what she has put her 
staff through, as well as a near total deflection of 
responsibility for this matter. It is not this Committee, it is 
not other Members, it is not either political party, and most 
certainly, it is not her staff that is responsible for the 
situation Representative Richardson finds herself in. It is 
Representative Richardson's own management, Representative 
Richardson's own decisions, and Representative Richardson's own 
actions that are responsible for the existence of this matter, 
the resources they have required, and the damage to the 
integrity of her office and this institution that they have 
caused. That Representative Richardson still does not seem 
willing to accept this simple fact is all the more reason why 
this Committee must refer the matter to the whole of the House 
of Representatives for their consideration and judgment.


    The Committee on Ethics adopts as its findings in this 
matter the Report of the Investigative Subcommittee, as 
    Prior Committee precedent supports a recommendation of 
reprimand for conduct involving compelling official staff 
members to perform campaign work, using official resources for 
campaign purposes, using official resources for personal 
purposes, and obstruction of this Committee's investigation. 
This is particularly true in the case of a negotiated 
settlement where a public hearing is waived, saving significant 
resources and allowing the Committee to continue working 
through the many other matters it must address in the interest 
of the institution and all Members.
    In addition to public reprimand, the Committee recommends 
that the House, by adoption of this Report, impose a $10,000 
fine on Representative Richardson for her misconduct and that 
the fine be payable to the U.S. Treasury no later than December 
1, 2012. Towards that end, the Committee recommends that the 
House of Representatives adopt a resolution in the following 
form and that the adoption of this Report will serve as a 
reprimand of Representative Richardson and the imposition of a 
$10,000 fine under the conditions outlined herein:

                          HOUSE RESOLUTION----

          Resolved, (1) That the House adopt the report of the 
        Committee on Ethics dated August 1, 2012, In the Matter 
        of Representative Laura Richardson.


    The Committee made no special oversight findings in this 
Report. No budget statement is submitted. No funding is 
authorized by any measure in this Report. No oversight findings 
are considered pertinent.