For Don Young, Ethics Allegations Are Nothing New
Congressman previously faced ‘misuse of funds’ accusations in FBI probe
WASHINGTON, DC – Allegations brought Tuesday against Alaska Congressman Don Young by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics should be familiar to the long-time lawmaker.
The ethics committee is scrutinizing Young over charges he misused campaign funds, improperly received gifts and made false statements to federal officials.
No specific incidents or dates were given in the press release issues Tuesday by the committee.
It's not the first time Young's behavior has been called into question.
In 2008, both Republican and Democratic senators asked the FBI to look into the "Coconut Road Interchange." Their questions were focused on a 2005 transportation bill. Some in Congress believed the bill was altered after it was approved, but before it was signed by then-President George W. Bush. Those changes, allegedly made by Young or someone in his office, enabled a $10 million Florida highway project linked to one of Young's campaign contributors to move forward.
The FBI investigation expanded into other realms of Young’s long tenure as a congressman, and eventually led to further accusations that he used campaign funds for personal use, ranging from hunting trips, dry cleaning and meals, as well as travel to and from Alaska.
Despite what the FBI described as "considerable resources" put toward the probe, the investigation ultimately went nowhere, and in 2010 the FBI closed the case, concluding that there was "not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to ultimately convict Congressman Young."
Past investigations haven't seemed to change Alaskan voter's minds about their only House representative. Young celebrated his 40th year in office this month, and is now the second longest serving Republican in Congress. He easily won reelection last November, and is planning to run again in 2014.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Young's press secretary, Mike Anderson, said, "Congressman Young has cooperated with the committee and will continue to do so."
To read the press release from the House Committee on Ethics, click here.