Ethics Panel Clears Burris, Sort Of - NBC Chicago

Ethics Panel Clears Burris, Sort Of

Burris touted the fact that he wasn't charged



    Ethics Panel Clears Burris, Sort Of
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    Well played, Mr. Burris. Well played.

    Sen. Burris is off the hook with a Senate ethics committee that was investigating his appointment by Governor Rod Blagojevich.

    The committee closed the case on his Nov. 2008 appointment this morning after it issued a stinging letter that basically said that Burris may not have violated laws during the run up to his appointment, but sure didn’t behave like a senator should.

    "The committee found that you should have known that you were providing incorrect, inconsistent, misleading, or incomplete information to the public, the Senate, and those conducting legitimate inquiries into your appointment to the senate."

    Burris won his seat after ousted Blagojevich appointed him, but there were numerous questions about whether he agreed to donate money to the governor in exchange for the appointment. While the committee said Burris has been cleared of legal implications, they did admonish him on numerous fronts.

    The many slaps on the wrist, which were included in the document, don’t paint a pretty picture of Burris’s appointment.

    Still, Burris took the news well. He released a statement touting the fact that he wasn’t charged with legal wrong doing.

    "I am pleased that after numerous investigations, this matter has finally come to a close.  I thank the members of the Senate Ethics Committee for their fair and thorough review of this matter, and now look forward to continuing the important work ahead on behalf of the people of Illinois," Burris said in a statement.

    Others disagree that the report was a vindication of the senator's actions.

    "It's nothing that he should be pleased about.  He will leave the U.S. Senate as a disgraced United States Senator, and through this letter of adminishion, it's quite clear that he did mislead us," said Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Westchester), who was the ranking Republican on the impeachment committee.

    Of the admonishment, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn didn't have much to say.

    "It speaks for itself.  I don't think I have to add to it," he said after a bill signing event at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

    Burris has said that he won’t run for his seat again.