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Tiahrt cleared by ethics panel

From The Associated Press

A U.S. House ethics committee has says it found no evidence of wrongdoing in an investigation that involved Rep. Todd Tiahrt of Kansas.

The Associated Press obtained reports from the panel that says seven House members — five Democrats and two Republicans — did not violate ethics rules.

The representatives had steered government money, projects and contracts to companies that donated to their re-election campaigns. All seven of the House members are or were senior members of t he House Appropriations Committee.

The appropriations went to companies represented by a now-defunct lobbying firm known as PMA Group. The Justice Department was also conducting an investigation into PMA. It is unclear if that inquiry is still ongoing.

Statement from Tiahrt’s office:

“Today I received absolute vindication. This comes as no surprise because there was never anything to justify a re-view in the first place. The process referenced in the re-port reflects the same profes-sional and objective proce-dures followed in my office for reviewing and requesting de-fense-related projects for Boeing and other reputable Kansas-based companies that employ thousands of Kansas workers in my district.”

“What's more important than my vindication is that we have prevented political smear attempts from slowing us down as we fight for Kan-sas jobs. So today, just like every other day, we will keep doing the right thing and will keep on fighting for Kansas families. There are too many important problems facing our country to waste time being distracted by unscrupulous organizations that have no re-gard for justice or any interest in making our country better. My hope is that those who have engaged in spreading the political slurs of Washington will find better things to do.”