Dicks cleared in ethics probe

The Office of Congres–sional Ethics has closed an investigation into ethics charges filed in October against U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, a Democrat from Belfair, as well as Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa. and James Morgan, D-Va., on Dec. 2.

The Washington Post reported that the three congressmen, as part of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, were charged for their relationship with the now-defunct PMA group, which had been steered more than $200 million in earmarks.

The panel’s decision, which advised against a formal House ethics investigation, was unanimous.

The defense-lobbying firm, which the ethics committee began investigating in June, broke up in February.

The firm’s founder, Paul Magliocchetti, is a close friend of Murtha, who heads the subcommittee.

Four other congressmen in the subcommittee are still under investigation.

The Office of Congressional Ethics is a quasi-independent body established by Congress in January 2007, after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called for it after being sworn in as speaker.

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