11:37 am Dec. 20, 2012
The House Ethics Committee announced today that it has concluded its investigation into Rep. Gregory Meeks, finding no evidence that a 2007 loan he received from a real estate agent constituted an impermissible gift.
Meeks, a seven-term Democrat from Queens, failed to report a $40,000 loan from Edul Ahmad, who later pleaded guilty to an unrelated $14-million mortgage fraud.
The committee said it was "not uncommon" for lawmakers to accidentally omit such loans, and that it found "no credible evidence that the errors were knowing or willful." The statement also said the committee had no evidence to conclude the loan constituted an "impermissible gift."
Meeks told the committee that the loan had a set interest rate, and that the agreement was memorialized in writing, though he has said he misplaced the loan agreement.
Counsel for Ahmad told the committee that there was no loan document, but the committee said it was unable to verify that since Ahmad declined to be interviewed by the committee.
Without his testimony or any corroborating evidence, the committee said it would be "unreasonable" to conclude that Meeks' sworn testimony was untruthful.