Rep. Joseph Crowley Denies Wrongdoing

The New York representative faces a potential House ethics committee investigation.

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BY Richard Sisk
DAILY NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON - Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens) faces a potential House ethics committee investigation over whether he traded votes for campaign dollars.

The Office of Congressional Ethics, an independent body set up by the House, referred Crowley's case to the committee with a recommendation that its members order an investigation. [See who donates the most money to Crowley.]

Crowley, also the Queens County Democratic chairman, issued a statement denying any wrongdoing and saying that he "has always complied with the letter and spirit of all rules regarding fund-raising and standards of conduct."

The Congressional Ethics Office also recommended the committee investigate two other House members, Reps. John Campbell (R-Calif.) and Tom Price (R-Ga.). Campbell and Price also denied any wrongdoing.

Five other lawmakers - two Democrats and three Republicans - were cleared in the same ethics office investigation.

The investigation of Crowley has focused on his fund-raising from Wall Street lobbyists while the huge financial overhaul bill worked its way through the House.

In December, while the bill was wending its way through committee, Crowley allegedly left the House to attend a party thrown by a Wall Street lobbyist and then returned to vote against several amendments opposed by big business.

Crowley eventually voted for the Wall Street reform bill while Campbell and Price voted against it.

President Obama signed the financial overhaul bill July 21. It aims to restrain Wall Street excesses with the most sweeping overhaul of financial rules since the Great Depression, clamping down on lending practices and expanding consumer protections to address failures that led to the 2008 meltdown that knocked the economy to its knees.