N.J. Democrat Rob Andrews to resign from Congress


Updated 12:08 p.m.

Rep. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) said Tuesday that he plans to resign from Congress this month to take a job with a Philadelphia-based law firm, a move he said is best for his family.

Andrews said in a statement to supportersy that he will be joining the law firm Dilworth Paxson and its government affairs unit. "This is an opportunity that requires a decision now," he said, adding that he will step down Feb. 18.

But Andrews's decision to leave comes as he's faced years of allegations that he violated House rules and federal law by using campaign funds to pay for personal trips to Scotland and Los Angeles and by using a graduation party for his daughter to raise campaign cash.

A report released in 2012 detailed how in May 2011 Andrews initially used personal funds to pay roughly $16,500 for four business-class airplane tickets for himself, his wife and two daughters to attend a wedding in Scotland. Andrews later had the money refunded and paid for the tickets with funds from his leadership PAC and has generally denied any wrongdoing. The Office of Congressional Ethics report, which was released by the House Ethics Committee, said that Andrews “refused to provide requested documents” to investigators related to his travels and provided credit card statements only “after making significant redactions.”

Andrews has always denied the charges.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hailed Andrews Tuesday as "a proud son of South Jersey and an unflinching advocate for his constituents, adding that he "has emerged as an essential leader on the central issues facing our country – the jobs of our workers, the health security of our families, the strength of our military, and the safety of our nation."

Andrews is the eighth House Democrat and the 26th member of Congress to announce plans to leave office this year. Ten House Republicans have died, announced plans to retire or to seek higher office.

Ed O’Keefe is a congressional reporter with The Washington Post and covered the 2008 and 2012 presidential and congressional elections.
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