Senate ethics panel admonishes Burris, but no charges coming

SHARE Senate ethics panel admonishes Burris, but no charges coming

WASHINGTON– Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) was admonished today by the U.S. Senate ethics committee over his testimony in Springfield concerning how he got appointed to Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat.

But his actions following his appointment by then Gov.-Rod Blagojevich did not rise to level of pursuing ethics charges against Burris, the committee ruled.

“After an extensive investigation, the Select Committee on Ethics is issuing you this Public Letter of Qualified Admonition for actions and statement reflecting unfavorably upon the Senate in connection with your appointment to and seating in the Senate,” according to letter from the committee, chaired by Sen. Barbara Boxer.

The Committee found that you should have know that you were providing incorrect, inconsistent, misleading, or incomplete information to the public, the Senate and those conducting legitimate inquiries into your appointment to the Senate,” the letter continued.

“While the Committee did not find that the evidence before it supported any actionable violations of law, Senators must meet a much higher standard of conduct.”

Burris, in a statement, said he had been cleared.

“I am pleased that after numerous investigations, this matter has finally come to a close. I thank the members of the Senate Ethics Committee for their fair and thorough review of this matter, and now look forward to continuing the important work ahead on behalf of the people of Illinois,” said Burris.

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), meanwhile, said in a statement the admonition of his colleague “speaks for itself.”

“When we met with Roland Burris in January, we made it clear that in order for him to be seated in the U.S. Senate he needed to appear before the Illinois General Assembly to testify openly, honestly and completely about the nature of his relationship with the former governor, his associates and the circumstances surrounding this appointment,” Durbin said.

“Since then, the accuracy and completeness of his testimony and affidavits have been called into question. The U.S. Senate Ethics Committee has completed its review into this matter and found that Sen. Burris actions have brought discredit on him and the Senate. The letter of qualified admonition from the Ethics Committee speaks for itself.”

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