Washington (CNN) — A House ethics investigative panel has charged a high-ranking Democratic congresswoman with violating House rules by seeking federal assistance for a bank with financial ties to her husband.
According to the House ethics committee, California Rep. Maxine Waters helped arrange a meeting in September 2008 between Massachusetts-based OneUnited Bank and Treasury Department officials.
OneUnited Bank ultimately received $12 million in bailout funds. Waters is a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee.
Waters, according to a preliminary report, called then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson during the height of the financial crisis “and requested that Treasury Department officials meet with representatives from the National Bankers Association,” an organization representing over 100 minority-owned banks.
“A meeting was in fact granted, however, the discussion at the meeting focused on a single bank — OneUnited. Rep. Waters’ husband had been a board member of the bank from 2004 to 2008 and, at the time of the meeting, was a stock holder of the bank.”
The report states that Waters approached Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, to say that she was “in a predicament because her husband had been involved in the bank, but ‘OneUnited people’ were coming to her for help.”