Ethics Committee Clears Rep. Richardson, Refers Mortgage Broker to DOJ

The House Ethics Committee has cleared Rep. Laura Richardson, D-Calif., of any wrongdoing in a formal probe investigating whether she got special favors from Washington Mutual, a bank that gave her a home loan to purchase a home in Sacramento.

The inquiry focused on whether mortgage broker Charles Thomas gave her a break because she was a lawmaker.

The Ethics Committee says that “Representative Richardson did not knowingly accept a gift from Washington Mutal or violate any applicable standard of conduct in connection with the purchase of, foreclosure on, rescission or florclosure sale for or modification of loan terms for a residential property” in Sacramento.

The Ethics Committee then referred to actions of Thomas to the Justice Department for further study.

The committee probed Richardson for seven months, issued 14 subpoeanas and reviewed seven-thousand pages in documents.