51.4 F
Fort Worth
Thursday, October 29, 2020
Government House Ethics panel investigating Texas congressman, local auto dealer

House Ethics panel investigating Texas congressman, local auto dealer

Other News

Exxon’s oil slick

Exxon Mobil is slashing its capital spending budget for 2020 by 30% due to weak demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a market...

Folk music’s Mark Twain: 7 Essential tracks from John Prine,

NEW YORK (AP) — Some people, the songs just come out of them. For nearly half a century, they tumbled out of John Prine...

Tarrant County records another COVID-19 death

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) on Wednesday, April 8 reported that a resident of Euless has died as the result of the COVID-19 virus....

Tradition stymied: A year unlike any since WWII for Augusta

The Masters is so intertwined with Augusta, they added an extra day to spring break.You see, the first full week of April isn't just...

WASHINGTON (AP) — A congressional review panel says there is “substantial reason to believe” that a Republican congressman from Texas may have been perceived to be acting in his own financial interest when he offered an amendment to benefit auto dealers last year.

Texas Rep. Roger Williams is an auto dealer, and he has come under scrutiny by the House Ethics Committee over an amendment he offered to a wide-ranging transportation bill that would have allowed auto dealers to rent out vehicles even if they’re subject to recall. Williams has said the amendment was intended to address recalls aimed at trivial defects, but critics said it would apply more broadly. Williams represents the 25th Congressional District which runs from Austin up to Fort Worth. 

The House Ethics Committee’s Republican chairman and senior Democrat said in a joint statement that the panel is reviewing a referral from the independent Office of Congressional Ethics, an outside panel that reviews ethics complaints against House members.

The review panel said in a 43-page report released by the ethics committee Thursday that “there is substantial reason to believe that Rep. Williams’ personal financial interest in his auto dealership may be perceived as having influenced his performance of official duties — namely, his decision to offer of an amendment to the surface transportation legislation.”

The report said Williams’ actions may have violated House rules and standards of conduct regarding conflicts of interest. The House ethics panel will rule on that after finishing its investigation.

The ethics panel also released a joint statement from Williams and his auto dealership denying wrongdoing. The statement said Williams offered the amendment after being asked to by National Automotive Dealers Association and noted that he was up front about being an auto dealer when he spoke about it on the House floor. The statement also said that his dealership does not turn a profit from car rentals.

The report noted that the ethics committee has previously advised that a member doesn’t always have to directly benefit from an action to violate the rules. The perception of that benefit can be enough to merit a violation.

The nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center had urged a House Ethics Committee investigation of Williams over the issue.

Latest News

Three Republicans file to run for speaker of the Texas House

By Cassandra Pollock, The Texas Tribune Oct. 29, 2020 "Three Republicans file to run...

Tarrant County indicts 4 for elder fraud

The Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that three men and one woman have been indicted on charges of engaging...

Former DHS official says he wrote ‘Anonymous’ Trump critique

By KEVIN FREKING and ZEKE MILLER Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) — A former Trump administration official who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and...

Developer tied to Texas AG accused judge, others of fraud

By JAKE BLEIBERG Associated PressDALLAS (AP) — An Austin real estate developer at the center of recent allegations against Texas Attorney General...

AP Explains: The rule that made the modern internet

By BARBARA ORTUTAY AP Technology Writer OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Twenty-six words tucked into a 1996 law overhauling telecommunications...