The House Ethics Committee issued a blistering report on Wednesday finding Rep. Laura Richardson guilty of improperly pressuring her official staff to campaign for her, destroying evidence and tampering with witness testimony.
In an unusually scathing 16-page report, the ethics panel painted the California Democrat as acting with “utter disdain” for the secretive committee, which Richardson has previously accused of harboring racist undertones in its investigation of black members.
The ethics committee recommended that the House adopt its report and approve a formal reprimand of Richardson, who agreed to pay a fine of $10,000 within four months and require staffers who work on her campaign to sign a waiver stating that they haven’t been pressured to do so.
The punishment comes just three months before Richardson faces off against fellow Democrat Rep. Janice Hahn (Calif.) in one of the toughest member-on-member elections this year.
Many of Richardson’s staff painted a “horrendous picture” when speaking of their employment experience, which was fraught with “attempts to intimidate them on a regular basis,” according to the committee’s report issued by chairman, Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), and ranking member Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.).