The House ethics committee has postponed until after Congress's July 4 recess a meeting to conclude its investigation into Rep. Barney Frank's relationship with a former male prostitute.

The 12-member panel had been scheduled to meet yesterday and today and was expected to rule on a split vote that the Massachusetts Democrat be given a mild written rebuke for some aspects of his relationship with Stephen L. Gobie.

However, the illness of Rep. Joseph M. Gaydos (D-Pa.) forced postponement of the meetings. Though Gaydos returned to work yesterday afternoon, he confirmed that his illness was the cause of the postponement.

Committee sources have said the panel is ready to vote to admonish Frank on perhaps two issues related to the probe -- the fixing of traffic tickets while Gobie was serving as a personal aide to Frank, and the sending of letters on congressional letterhead to court officers supervising Gobie's probation on several felony charges. Several Republican members of the committee who have pressed for a stronger sanction of Frank are expected to oppose the mild punishment.

Frank, one of two openly gay members of the House, has admitted hiring Gobie as a personal aide and paying him with his own funds, but denied allegations he knew Gobie was running a prostitution service out of the lawmaker's Capitol Hill apartment.