How and why the Deal ethics report was released

The Times covers the Office of Congressional Ethics’ release of a report involving a Member of Congress who had left Congress.

Once Mr. Deal resigned, the formal ethics office inquiry apparently ended because the office generally has jurisdiction over only sitting members of Congress. But Mr. Deal knew of the accusations, which were first reported in August by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Unwilling to be outmaneuvered, the Office of Congressional Ethics — created in 2008 to serve as an independent ethics watchdog on Capitol Hill — decided by a 6-to-0 board vote on Friday to release its findings anyway. “Providing information to the public, improving transparency, is a central element of the O.C.E.’s mission,” Jon Steinman, a spokesman, said Monday.

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