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September 11, 2013

House Ethics Committee closes Tierney investigation


The U.S. House Ethics Committee announced today it will go no further with its investigation of Rep. John Tierney.

In a press release, the bipartisan committee said "evidence was inconclusive" on whether the money Tierney's wife, Patrice, received from her brother in return for managing a bank account for him should have been disclosed.

Tierney has said the money was a family gift and did not need to be disclosed under congressional rules.

Prosecutors in a 2010 case against Patrice Tierney said she received $223,000 over the years from her brother — a figure the Tierneys have disputed.

"(This) does not warrant a finding that Representative Tierney intentionally mischaracterized the nature of the payments for financial disclosure or tax purposes," the committee said in a press release.

The 10-member committee voted unanimously to close the matter.

Tierney responded this afternoon with a written statement:

“Following a thorough three month review and detailed legal analysis, the bipartisan Ethics Committee unanimously voted on the merits of the law and the facts to end its review and close this matter," he wrote. "I thank the Ethics Committee for its unbiased and expedited review. After three years of politically motivated, partisan attacks on this issue, I look forward to putting it behind me. The focus belongs on the residents of the 6th District. I appreciate all the constituents who have stood with me during this difficult time, and I remain committed to fighting for our local families and communities."

In 2010 Patrice Tierney pleaded guilty to helping her brother file false tax returns, and admitted to being “willfully blind” to the illegal source of her brother’s millions. She served 30 days in prison, followed by two years of probation, including five months of home confinement.

For full details, see Thursday's Salem News.

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