Rep. Edward R. Roybal (D-Calif.) appears to be rallying support from minority groups for a floor fight against his recommended censure by the House committee that found him guilty of lying about taking money from South Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park.
Hispanic groups held press conferences in Washington and Los Angeles yesterday to condemn the proposed penalty, according to Roybal's office. And members of the Congressional Black Caucus also expressed interest in the Hispanic congressman's case yesterday, sources said, by talking with members of the investigating committee and Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass).
Eduardo Pena, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens, said Roybal was being used as a scapegoat.
"There is a clear indication that Congressman Roybal's statements were dismissed out of hand and yet similar explanations by Anglo congressman were accepted at face value," Pena said.
The full House is expected next week to consider proposed descriplinary action against Royal and two other California Democrats, Rep. John J. McFall and Charles H. Wilson.
The House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct voted to recommend reprimands - the least serious penalty-for McFall and Wilson.
Roybal was found guilty of failing to report a $1,000 cash contribution from Park in 1974, converting it to his own use and then lying to investigators.
It has been more than 50 years since a House member has been censured. If approved by a majority of the House, Roybal would have to stand before his colleagues and hear the findings against him read aloud.
Anyone reprimanded would not have to be present to hear the findings of guilt read. Neither penalty affects voting rights.
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.), a member of the black caucus, said yesterday in a phone interview that he was concerned abouth whether Roybal was being treated differently from McFall and Wilson.
He declined to say to whom he talked about the case.
Rep. Parren J. Mitchell (D-Md), chairman of the black caucus, could notbe reached for comment.