The House ethics committee yesterday dismissed a complaint against Rep. Roy Dyson alleging that the Maryland Democrat had misused office funds for political purposes and discriminated against women in hiring congressional aides.
The complaint was filed by a Republican Party official in Dyson's district shortly before the 1988 election. The ethics panel declined to consider the allegations at that time because it was so close to Election Day.
Dyson, through a spokesman in his office, said he was "delighted" by the outcome. The five-term Democrat has been dogged by a series of allegations since 1988 relating to his campaign finances, his ties to defense contractors involved in a procurement scandal and personnel practices in his congressional office.
Two weeks ago, Dyson settled a complaint with the Federal Election Commission by paying a $3,000 fine. The commission found that Dyson's former chief of staff, Tom Pappas, had ordered campaign checks for $7,275 to be written to staffers who were in turn ordered to cash the checks and give Pappas the money.
Pappas committed suicide in 1988 after The Washington Post reported details of the unorthodox manner in which he ran Dyson's congressional office.
In other action yesterday, the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct also announced it had dismissed a complaint against Rep. Gerry Sikorski (D-Minn.) alleging misuse of staff for personal errands, and that it had filed a report on its probe into allegations that Rep. Gus Savage (D-Ill.) had sexually assaulted a Peace Corps worker during a visit to Zaire.
The committee said it will release its report on Savage once it is printed, but gave no further information. It has been expected that the 12-member panel would handle the Savage case as it did an earlier case of alleged sexual harassment involving Rep. Jim Bates (D-Calif.). In that case, the committee issued a letter of reproval to Bates but stopped short of an official sanction that would have required a vote by the full House.
The complaint against Sikorski stemmed from articles in The Washington Post and the St. Paul Pioneer Press & Dispatch in 1988 detailing allegations by former staffers that the Minnesota Democrat required them to perform personal chores such as shoveling snow and driving his daughter to school. It was also alleged that Sikorski had full-time employees of his congressional office work on his campaign.
The investigation into Savage stemmed from an article in The Washington Post last year in which an unnamed Peace Corps volunteer charged that the Illinois Democrat had aggressively fondled her in the back seat of a U.S. Embassy car in Kinshasa, the capital of Zaire.