- Nobody's home at the House ethics committee that's supposed to be investigating Rep. Charles Rangel.
The panel created on Sept. 24 to probe the Harlem Democrat's alleged ethical lapses has been virtually disbanded, after meeting only twice in four months on the matter, The Post has learned.
- Of the four congressmen named to look into the powerful Ways and Means Committee chairman, only one remains - Alabama Republican Jo Bonner. The three others left the Rangel probe last month when they were "rotated" off the 10-member Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.
- The dormant investigation won't be jump-started until three incoming ethics committee members are assigned to the Rangel probe later this month.
- Critics say the shuffling of committee members will delay an already lackluster probe.
- "It will clearly slow things significantly to bring the new members up to snuff," said Norman Ornstein, a congressional analyst at the American Enterprise Institute.
- "The lack of any visible activity, such as interviews with many principals or visits to the Dominican Republic or any progress report, are all discouraging."
- The probers should have been required to stay on the investigation to avoid further delays, said Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, an ethics watchdog group.
- "Four months after the investigations started, there is no investigative subcommittee, no public hearings, and no sign of any progress whatsoever," he said.