Miller's real estate profits reviewed by committee

By Perry Bacon Jr. and Paul Kane
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 30, 2009; 9:12 PM

Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) has been accused by congressional watchdogs of including a provision in the 2005 transportation bill that helped a real estate company with which he had a financial relationship.

According to an internal ethics document obtained by The Washington Post, the House ethics committee has been reviewing Miller's profits on real estate investments that were "potentially" tied to official acts. The committee also has reviewed "loans from campaign contributor and business partner used for real estate investing," according to the document.

The document does not name the entity, but news reports have outlined loans and investments involving Miller and the Lewis Operating company. Lewis executives have donated thousands of dollars to Miller's campaigns.

The ethics committee document stated that the top members of the panel have "authorized further investigative action," but Miller said he had not heard from the committee since fall 2006.

At that time, he said, he voluntarily turned over "three volumes" of information about his real estate dealings. He called them "normal transactions."

"It's been over three years, we've never heard anything," he said, explaining that he complained Thursday about the matter to Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), chairman of the ethics committee.

A Miller spokesperson said on Thursday evening Lofgren "confirmed that he is not under any investigation." The spokesperson also said Miller believes the original accusations were "partisan."

"This is ridiculous and amateurish," he said of the breach in the committee's files.

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