The House ethics committee said Thursday it's investigating whether California Rep. Maxine Waters used her influence to help a bank in which her husband owned stock — and whether the couple benefited as a result.
Waters is the No. 3 Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee and chairwoman of its subcommittee on housing. She has been an influential voice in the committee's work to overhaul financial regulations.
Waters came under scrutiny after former Treasury Department officials said she helped arrange a meeting between regulators and executives at OneUnited Bank last year without mentioning her husband's financial ties to the institution.
Her husband, Sidney Williams, holds at least $250,000 in its stock. He previously served on the bank's board. Waters' spokesman, Michael Levin, said Williams was no longer on the board when the meeting was arranged.
Waters has said the National Bankers Association, a trade group, requested the meeting. She defended her role in assisting minority-owned banks in the midst of the nation's financial meltdown and dismissed suggestions she used her influence to steer government aid to the bank. (continues here)