Congress Won't Stop 10-Year Cisneros Probe

Associated Press
Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Congress has refused to halt spending on a decade-old investigation of Henry Cisneros, former secretary of housing and urban development, despite Democratic senators' attempt to stop it.

A Senate provision that would have ended spending on the probe next month was killed during closed-door negotiations on a broader bill paying for U.S. operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.).

The bill for the Cisneros investigation had reached nearly $21 million at the end of September. Independent counsel David Barrett said much of the spending goes to overhead costs, such as rent, which is required by law to ensure the independence of his probe.

"Even waste has a constituency," said Dorgan, who sponsored the measure to end the spending.

Cisneros admitted in 1999 that, when being considered for a Cabinet job, he lied to the FBI about how much he paid a former mistress. Cisneros, housing secretary from 1993 to 1996, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was fined $10,000. President Bill Clinton pardoned him in January 2001.

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