Monday, July 9, 2012

Berkley To Be Investigated

From the LVRJ: The House Ethics Committee announced Monday it will investigate allegations that Rep. Shelley Berkley violated House rules in her advocacy of health care issues that benefited her husband, a prominent Las Vegas doctor.
The committee voted unanimously to establish a four-member subcommittee to conduct the probe, an open-ended process expected to cloud the Las Vegas Democrat as she campaigns for the U.S. Senate.
Berkley has operated with questions about her ethics as a backdrop since September, when the New York Times in a front page story reported on intersections between her advocacy in Congress on kidney care matters and her husband's nephrology practice in Las Vegas.
It reported Berkley in 2008 lobbied the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to withdraw an order that would have revoked certification of the kidney transplant unit at University Medical Center, where her husband's practice directed services at the kidney department.
It also reported Berkley sponsored at least six bills to expand federal payments and other assistance to kidney doctors, wrote letters to block federal rules and appeared at fundraisers sponsored by a professional group that had an association.
This was a bi-partisan vote for an investigation of Berkley, so this isn't a election year gimmick by the Republicans.  There are 5 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
From the Ethics Committee:  In accordance with Clause 3 of House Rule XI and Committee Rules 14(a)(3) and 18, the Committee on Ethics (the Committee) unanimously voted on June 29, 2012, to establish an investigative subcommittee. Pursuant to the Committee’s action, the investigative subcommittee shall have jurisdiction to determine whether Representative Shelley Berkley violated the Code of Official Conduct or any law, rule, regulation, or other applicable standard of conduct in the performance of her duties or the discharge of her responsibilities, with respect to alleged communications and activities with or on behalf of entities in which Representative Berkley’s husband had a financial interest.
This is serious and will harm Berkley in this upcoming election in November as she tries to defeat Dean Heller.

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