Rep. Charles Rangel and his campaign have agreed to cough up a $23,000 fine for using a rent-stabilized New York City apartment as a campaign headquarters. The Federal Election Committee decided by leasing the Harlem apartment at a price well below the market rate, the Democrat had accepted an illegal campaign contribution, the New York Times reports. The apartment was one of four rent-controlled units rented by Rangel that the Times exposed in 2008.
Rangel's use of the apartments was one of the ethics issues that led to the former Ways and Means Committee chairman's censure by the House in 2010. The fine settles a case brought by a watchdog group in 2008. "People settle not because they’re guilty but because they don’t want to go through the arduous process and expense to show they’re not guilty," says a spokeswoman for Rangel, who announced last week that he will be seeking a 22nd term in the House.