Charlie Rangel Working Hard For the Money

O.K. I know some of you will find it strange to hear Charlie Rangel and cheat in the same sentence,  but Good-Time Charlie has done it again.  The Congressman from Harlem who was censured by the House of Representatives for all kinds of corruption stiffed the NY State treasury out of at least $87,000 when he stopped paying for the district office he rents in Harlem’s Adam Clayton Powell Jr. State Office Building, according to the NY Post.

His staffers’  told the Post they lost the lease, according to state Office of General Services correspondence.  

“I finally heard back from Congressman Rangel’s office and it seems we haven’t gotten the signed lease back because they lost it!” OGS real-estate specialist Sydney Allen wrote in a July 30, 2013, e-mail to a colleague that was ­obtained by The Post. 

But Rangel told NY 1 that he couldn’t pay the rent because of sequestration.

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  “So do we owe from the sequestration to now? You bet your life. Are we going to pay it? Yes we are,” Rangel said. “But it’s not just my office. It’s any office that had to take a cut that we didn’t ask for in our budget.”

Even worse is that the state didn’t demand back rent and late fees what the standard landlord would to they cut him a deal.

The state says it allowed Rangel in March 2013 to enter into a new sweetheart deal in which he could postpone paying six months of rent. That “abatement” money has still not been paid, nor has the other six months of missed rent from 2013, a OGS official said.

The state comptroller approved a $101,000 lease between Rangel and OGS on Dec. 26, 2013, retroactively covering the period back to April 2013 and future months through December 2014, records show. The 21-month deal resulted in a deeply reduced rent of $4,809 a month.

When The Post last week inquired about the year of missing rent, Rangel’s office and OGS blamed federal sequestration, not the lost lease referenced in agency correspondence.

“As everyone knows, the GOP sequester not only constrained our nation’s economy, but also strained the budget of congressional offices,” said Rangel spokeswoman Hannah Kim.

Rangel is used to blaming others for his mistakes. Last year he sued Speaker John Boehner and six other lawmakers, charging that they mishandled the Ethics investigation that led to his public censure in late 2010. Lets forget for a moment that Nancy Pelosi was the Speaker of the House when Charlie Rangel was censured (or the fact that if it was anyone else they would have been tossed out of Congress for the violations). The suit was tossed out by a judge.

Let’s look at some of Rangel’s “record”;

  • He admitted a failure to report $75 thousand in taxes on a vacation property
  • He was discovered taking a tax break for people whose primary residence was in Washington DC, but if his primary residence was in DC he couldn’t be congressman representing NYC. And besides, he was occupying four rent controlled controlled apartments in New York, the rule is you don’t qualify for rent control unless the apartment is your primary residence. That is why he got in trouble for using one of the apartments as his office.
  • He misused his congressional office to fund raise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for a donation to his vanity Charles B. Rangel center.
  • Once the ethics investigation began Rangel gave campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him.

Then there is the matter of his financial disclosure form. Lets just say it had some mistakes also:

And there was more. Rangel was censured on the House floor in December 2010 after the ethics panel found him guilty of 11 charges related to his conduct outside the Capitol. The vote against him was a lopsided 333-79 (that might have been the last bi-partisan vote in the House).

Rangel should consider himself a very lucky man, after all people like Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby were thrown in jail for doing much less.  At the very least he should have been thrown out of congress.  But all Rangel got was a public censure–feeding the man’s sense of entitlement. 

Now NY State has fed that sense of entitlement.