Rep. Charles H. Wilson (D-Calif.) sought yesterday to delay his scheduled House ethics committee disciplinary hearing on grounds that he was being both indicted and tried by the same committee members.
Wilson's attorney, Walter J. Bonner, asked that the pending March 31 hearing on financial misconduct charges be postponed until the House votes on a resolution that calls for randomly selecting disciplinary hearing panedls from the whole House membership.
Several members of the committee, officially known as the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, sponsored the resolution in early 1979.
An aide to Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the chief sponsor, said no action has been taken on the proposal because the committee had some disciplinary cases under consideration at the time, "No one wantd to change the rules in the middle of someone's game," he said.
In a motion yesterday, Bonner argued that the same members who filed the charges against Wilson now will sit in judgment of him. "These procedures most seriously violate Mr. Wilson's constitutional right to due process of law in that they permit essentially the same persons to act as the prosecutors, grand jury, petit jury and judges of Mr. Wilson's case."
Rep. Charles Bennett (D-Fla.), chairman of the committee, said yesterday that he considered the motion "untimely" because it was filed after the committee's charges were first made public. But he said he wrote Bonner that he would ask the committee to vote on it anyway at the start of the Wilson hearing.
Bennett added that he declined to cosponsor the resolution cited in Bonner's motion because he felt that with randomly selected panels "it would be difficult to have any degree of conformity" among verdicts on similar sets of facts.
Wilson was charged in December with 15 counts of violating House rules by accepting money from a staff member and by converting campaign funds to his personal use. Wilson has denied the charges.
In 1978 Wilson was reprimanded by the House after the ethics committee agreed that he had made false statements to its investigators about receiving cash from South Korean lobbyist Tongsun Park.
Sources familiar with the current investigation said Bonner approached the committee recently with an offer that the congressman would plead guilty to some of the charges in return for an agreement that he only be reprimanded. The offer was refused by the committee, the sources said.
The new hearing had been set for March 24, but was put off for a week because of the committee vacancy caused by the death of Rep. John Slack (D-W.Va.).