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Ethics Panel clears Meeks

The House Ethics Committee found that U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks unknowingly failed to report the $40,000 loan and therefore would not face any penalties.
TimesLedger Newspapers

The House Ethics Committee Thursday announced that U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) had been cleared in the committee’s investigation into a questionable $40,000 loan the congressman received in 2007.

Meeks received the loan from a personal friend but failed to report it on his 2007, 2008 or 2009 financial disclosure statements. He amended the filings in 2010 when he took out a home equity loan and repaid the $40,000 plus interest.

The committee found that while Meeks did indeed fail to report the loan, he did so unknowingly and therefore will not face any penalties.

“The committee recognizes that unknowing failures to report such items are not uncommon,” the committee said. “Rep. Meeks has since corrected the errors and omissions in his financial disclosure statements by his subsequent amendments, which were filed in June 2010. Therefore, no further action by the committee is warranted.”

The congressman, who has been under investigation since 2011, said he was happy to put the matter behind him.

“I am pleased with the Ethics Committee’s decision, and I am glad that this matter is now closed,” Meeks said, adding he was looking forward to working on strengthening the nation’s gun laws and Superstorm Sandy relief. “This is where my focus remains.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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